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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

February 14, 2017 (PM)

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Simultaneous interpretation services for this video are provided by a third party.

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


REPORTER: Mr. Michael Flynn has resigned from his position as National Security Advisor of the United States. Mr. Flynn attended the recent Japan-U.S. summit meeting and I believe you had also had the occasion to meet with Mr. Flynn prior to the election of President Trump. Mr. Flynn was also tasked with reviewing the United States’ North Korea policy, so can I ask for your views on how his resignation will impact Japan’s security policy?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, as this matter relates to domestic affairs in the United States I would like to refrain from making any comment on behalf of the Government. In any event, at the recent Japan-U.S. summit meeting the two leaders confirmed that based on a relationship of trust with President Trump, Japan and the United States will further strengthen the unwavering Japan-U.S. Alliance, and the recent resignation will not affect that commitment.


REPORTER: There have been a number of posts made on Twitter and other internet platforms about the response to the North Korea missile test launch, which occurred during the Japan-U.S. summit meeting. These posts show that discussions were taking place at Mar-a-Lago in the presence of people totally unrelated to government. What is the Government of Japan’s view concerning security-related discussions in such a venue?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I believe that you are referring to the missile launch by North Korea and in response to such an important issue, the Government immediately received instructions from the Prime Minister and we responded in accordance with those instructions. The launch took place right in the middle of dinner between the Prime Minister and the President and the two leaders engaged in discussions about a joint press conference. I do not think that the points you raised in your question are relevant in this context.

REPORTER: So are we to assume that absolutely no confidential information was discussed at the dinner table?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: There were no such discussions.

REPORTER: I have a related question. This response has led to criticism in the United States, including from the Democratic minority leader of the United States, that there were issues with the crisis management of the Trump administration. Is it the view of the Government of Japan that there were no issues relating to crisis management?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: There were no such issues. We received instructions very promptly from the Prime Minister and at the time the missile launch was confirmed, the Prime Minister’s Office Response Team was already responding thoroughly, based on the Prime Minister’s instructions.

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