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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

May 24, 2017 (AM)

If you can not view the video,click here(Japanese Government Internet TV)
Simultaneous interpretation services for this video are provided by a third party.

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Prime Minister Abe will attend the G7 Taormina Summit being held in Sicily, Italy from May 26 to 27, and then visit Malta. This will be the first visit to Malta by a sitting prime minister of Japan. At the upcoming G7 Taormina Summit, we will welcome leaders who will be newly participating in the Summit and frank and candid discussions will be held among the leaders on how we can further drive global economic growth, and how we should respond to urgent issues such as North Korea and counter-terrorism measures. Japan, as the country that held the G7 presidency last year, would like to send a powerful and clear message that maintains the G7’s role of leading the international community based on free and open rules. Japan-U.S. and Japan-France Summit meetings will also be held on the margins of the G7 Summit. With Malta, which holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) during the first half of this year, the leaders will confirm our bilateral cooperation in areas such as maintaining the rule of law in the seas, as well as the importance of a strongly unified EU. A memorial ceremony will be held at a memorial monument dedicated to the souls of the fallen Imperial Japanese Navy personnel who were dispatched to Malta during World War I.


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question related to the Summit you just announced. I believe the issues of North Korea will be an extremely important theme. What sort of stance does the Government of Japan want the G7 to put forward towards North Korea?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Similar to the terrorism issue, the issues of North Korea represent an extremely dangerous situation due to its repeated provocative acts. We will strive to compile and send a clear message on these issues from the G7.

REPORTER: As was also mentioned earlier, it is striking that a number of leaders including President Trump will be attending the upcoming Summit for the first time. Having experienced several summits, how does Prime Minister Abe intend to lead the discussions?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I believe the Prime Minister would like to reach a firm consensus with the leaders on the direction to be taken, including those newly attending the Summit, with regard to the way forward for matters such as economic growth, as well as the issues of North Korea and terrorism.


REPORTER: I would like to change the subject. The United Nations (UN) Security Council held an emergency meeting in response to a missile launch by North Korea. The members agreed to implement the existing sanctions resolutions even more resolutely. However, the members were unable to arrive at a shared view on aiming for a new sanctions resolution. How does the Government of Japan evaluate the outcomes of this emergency meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, in this meeting which included Japan, we strongly condemned North Korea’s series of provocative acts, including the recent missile launch, which pose a global threat, and emphasized that as the situation now stands, meaningful dialogue with North Korea is impossible, and that pressure is necessary in order to change North Korea’s actions and draw out concrete actions towards its denuclearization. Furthermore, all members of the Security Council expressed strong condemnation in response to the recent ballistic missile launch by North Korea. By holding the emergency meeting and issuing the press statement, we view that the Security Council was able to display a rigorous stance towards North Korea, and display the unity of the Security Council. In addition, I have been told that the Chair of the Sanctions Committee, who is the Italian ambassador, gave a report regarding the recent activities of the Sanctions Committee, and many members of the Security Council made statements underscoring the importance of fully implementing the resolutions. I understand opinions were expressed in succession that the Sanctions Committee be utilized to ensure the implementation of the sanctions, and we value this highly. In any case, Japan will work with the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) trilaterally, as well as with China and Russia to have North Korea comply with the Security Council resolutions, and Japan will lead the Security Council discussions. Therefore, my understanding is that for the most part the members discussed working together closely to implement the Security Council sanctions that have already been decided, rather than discussing new sanctions, in response to the recent missile launch.

REPORTER: I have one further related question. At the meeting, China, which is considered to have influence over North Korea, remained wary about a new sanctions resolution. The Chinese ambassador to the UN stated that members should make efforts to alleviate tension and achieve denuclearization through dialogue. How does the Government of Japan regard this stance of China?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: During the recent Security Council meeting, the bulk of the discussion was not on imposing new sanctions, but rather on the problem that the existing sanctions of the Security Council have not been implemented, and therefore what can be done to enforce their compliance. I believe this is understandable.


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