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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

March 1, 2017 (AM)

If you can not view the video,click here(Japanese Government Internet TV)
This video's audio is a provisional translation through live simultaneous interpretation.

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Q&As

REPORTER: Joint military exercises by the U.S. Forces and the Republic of Korea (ROK) Armed Forces that have North Korea in mind have started today. How does the Japanese Government assess the latest joint military exercises as they relate to increasing the deterrent against North Korea?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, the United States and the ROK conducted joint exercises. Japan, in collaboration with the relevant countries, including the United States and the ROK, has constantly urged North Korea to refrain from provocations and to comply with United Nations Security Council resolutions. We consider that the implementation of these trainings have positive implications for Japan’s information gathering and analysis as well as surveillance.

REPORTER: I have a related question. North Korea has indicated that it would retaliate following the commencement of the latest joint military exercises. What is the Japanese Government’s outlook regarding North Korea’s chances of conducting further provocations, including ballistic missile launches, during the exercises? What kind of readiness posture is the Japanese Government maintaining?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Japan constantly strives to gather and analyze information regarding the activities of North Korea with serious concern. We are of course working closely with the U.S. Forces, the United States, and the ROK. We maintain such readiness to be able to respond to any situation. We stand fully ready to secure the safety of the Japanese people and peace in Japan.

REPORTER: A related question. President Trump of the United States has expressed the view that China’s inadequate efforts are the reason that North Korea’s nuclear and missile development cannot be halted. Does the Japanese Government share the same view?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Many countries acknowledge that the country with the most influence is China. Japan is taking the opportunities of Security Council meetings and various other meetings to call on China to ensure the implementation of its sanctions.

REPORTER: I have a question in this connection. At the invitation of China, a visit to Beijing by a senior North Korean official is being arranged, among other developments. What is the Government’s view of such developments?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I stated moments ago, Japan is constantly following the activities of North Korea with utmost concern. Due to the nature of the matter, I believe the Government should refrain from responding to questions regarding such content.

REPORTER: I would like to change the subject. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has begun to lock all offices at the ministry, even during the daytime. During their press conferences following the Cabinet meeting yesterday, other ministers expressed the view that this was an undesirable measure. What is your view of this measure taken by METI?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, with regard to the situation of the management of METI buildings, the respective ministries and agencies have measures for outside visitors in accordance with their respective positions and situations. I understand that each day METI has 2,000 to 3,000 people visiting from companies and elsewhere. This number is five to ten times that of other ministries and agencies. In reality, METI’s work deals with sensitive information, such as information concerning economic negotiations with other countries such as the United States and Russia, information relating to energy policies including international negotiations, information relating to the approval of corporate restructuring  based on the Law on Strengthening Industrial Competitiveness , information relating to supports for Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), and information relating to on-site inspections  based on the Subcontract Proceeds Law. I was informed that METI has strengthened the management of its buildings in order to carry out highly reliable administration. I believe many ministries and agencies other than METI are taking similar responses.

(Abridged)

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