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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

March 27, 2017 (PM)

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

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I would like to change the subject. I have a question regarding North Korea's nuclear issue. Last weekend, several U.S. media outlets again reported signs indicating that North Korea may go ahead with a nuclear test in the near future. At the same time, the Korean Central News Agency in North Korea cited the General Staff of the Korean People's Army threatening the United States, commenting that it would smash  all kinds of moves with their preemptive attack. With regard to such signs of a nuclear test and the comment by the General Staff, is the Government collecting and analyzing information with serious interest?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Yes, of course.

REPORTER: I have another follow-up question. What is the Government's assessment of the current situation in North Korea?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I always state, the Government obviously finds it absolutely intolerable  that North Korea repeatedly conducts provocations without demonstrating any intent of abandoning its nuclear and missile development activities. It is the most important responsibility of the Government to protect the lives and peaceful daily lives of the Japanese people. Therefore, first and foremost, Japan constantly stands ready to respond to any situation, while working closely with the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK).

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question concerning former President Park Geun-hye of the ROK. Today, ROK prosecutors sought an arrest warrant for former President Park Geun-hye who was being investigated for accepting bribes and other charges. It will now be up to the court to decide whether an arrest warrant would be issued. Can you please share the comments of the Government?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government would like to refrain from making any comments as this matter pertains to the domestic affairs and judicial procedures of the ROK.

REPORTER: I have a related question. There is a possibility that the former President will be arrested. How do you think this will impact Japan-ROK relations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I stated, the Government would like to refrain from making any comments as this matter concerns the domestic affairs of the ROK. In any case, it remains entirely unchanged that Japan is committed to implementing the Japan-ROK agreement with the current administration, and following the presidential election the new administration, and to strengthening the Japan-ROK cooperation on policies for North Korea and on a variety of fields including security.

REPORTER: By spring the evacuation order will be lifted in almost all zones of 11 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture, excluding the difficult-to-return-zones . However, Mainichi Shimbun has reported that five municipalities including Iitate Village have not established evacuation plans in preparation for another nuclear disaster. There are concerns that these municipalities do not meet the national guidelines at this current stage. Could you please share your views in this regard?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, with regard to Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, the Local Disaster Management Plan  and the Wide-Area Evacuation Plan  for Fukushima Prefecture have been established, which set forth evacuation areas for all 13 municipalities in the Priority Areas for Nuclear Disaster Prevention Measures . The relevant municipalities are expected to establish evacuation plans by taking into account these plans for Fukushima Prefecture. These five municipalities that have not established the plans are currently in the process of establishing them based on the situation of the return of their residents, or are scheduled to establish the plans following the return of their residents. In any case, the Government will continue to strive to make concerted efforts with the relevant local governments to further flesh out and enhance the evacuation plans under the framework of the Regional Nuclear Emergency Preparedness Council  in Fukushima.

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