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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

March 8, 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

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I have a question about North Korea. Following the launch of missiles by North Korea, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously agreed to issue a press statement  strongly condemning  the launches as a grave violation  of UNSC resolutions. Can I ask for the views of the Government concerning the issuance of this press statement?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The press statement demonstrates the unified stance taken by the UNSC that the repeated launches by North Korea are unacceptable. The Government will continue to cooperate closely with the United States, the Republic of Korea (ROK), and also with China, which has influence with North Korea, as well as Russia, in the forum of the UNSC, calling strongly on North Korea to comply fully with the various UNSC resolutions.

REPORTER: I have a related question. There were concerns that China might be reluctant to approve a press statement following the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system in the ROK. However, China moved quickly to approve the press statement. Some people have observed that this could indicate a change in China’s stance concerning its relations with North Korea, so what is the current view of the Government concerning China-North Korea relations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government welcomes the issuance of the press statement by the UNSC, which expresses the unified stance of the international community, including China, that the missile launches by North Korea are unacceptable. The Government hopes that China will play a role in urging North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missile programs and comply fully with all its obligations under the relevant UNSC resolutions.

(Abridged)
 
REPORTER: The itinerary for the visit to Asia by Mr. Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State of the United States, has been announced. What will the major items on the agenda be for meetings between Foreign Minister Kishida and other ministers with Secretary Tillerson?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the Government would like to welcome the visit to Japan by Secretary of State Tillerson so soon after his appointment. The Government considers that in view of the increasingly severe regional security environment the visit by the Secretary of State so soon after his appointment, first to Japan and then to the ROK and China, is truly timely and opportune. During Secretary Tillerson’s visit he is scheduled to pay a courtesy call on Prime Minister Abe and hold a Japan-U.S. Foreign Ministers’ meeting. The Government expects that based on the outcomes of the recent Japan-U.S. summit meeting discussions will take place on various issues, including the situation in North Korea, and that the Japan-U.S. Alliance will be further strengthened.

REPORTER: I have a related question. The Trump administration is currently in the process of revising its policy on North Korea. Is it expected that the Secretary of State will provide an explanation about the United States’ review of this policy?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: During Secretary Tillerson’s visit he is scheduled to pay a courtesy call on Prime Minister Abe and hold a Japan-U.S. Foreign Ministers’ meeting. It is expected that based on the outcomes of the recent Japan-U.S. summit meeting, there will be discussions on various issues, including the situation in North Korea, and an exchange of views on the Japan-U.S. Alliance.

(Abridged)
 
REPORTER: I have a question about joint economic activities in the Northern Territories. Vice-Minister-level consultations on joint economic activities are scheduled to take place on March 18 and some press reports are suggesting that the Government is planning to propose to the Russian side the implementation of joint surveys of fishing grounds and flora and fauna in the vicinity of the four northern islands. What are the facts behind these reports and also what is the status of considerations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Formal Vice-Minister-level consultations are scheduled to take place in Tokyo. The relevant ministries and agencies are currently engaged in specific considerations ahead of the consultations.

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