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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

September 12, 2017 (PM)

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]

REPORTER: I have a question about North Korea. In this morning’s press conference you stated that the Government will endeavor to ensure the full implementation of the new resolution. However, there is also a possibility that North Korea will engage in new provocative actions. What is the Government’s policy for preventing such actions?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government is constantly making efforts to collect and analyze information about missile and nuclear-related developments in North Korea with the greatest concern. We continue to cooperate closely with the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK), calling on North Korea to refrain from provocative actions and comply fully with all relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. The Government also maintains an advanced surveillance and monitoring structure to protect the peaceful livelihoods of the people of Japan and through our information gathering and surveillance and monitoring activities, we are doing everything we can with a sense of urgency to protect the peace and security of the nation from any situation.

REPORTER: Prime Minister Abe is scheduled to depart for a visit to India from tomorrow. In discussions at the leaders’ level how will he be discussing and calling for cooperation on the North Korean issue?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The provocative actions of North Korea are in clear violation of UNSC resolutions, which is a part of international law. What is more, they present a clear challenge to the peace and security of Japan, the region and the international community. It is important for the international community to work together in order to compel North Korea to halt its reckless acts. What is of the utmost importance is for the series of UNSC resolutions, including the latest resolution that was adopted today, to be fully implemented. Japan will continue to respond firmly to North Korea, working together with various countries, including India, at various levels of Government, including the leaders’ and foreign ministers’ levels.


REPORTER: I have a question about Osprey aircraft exercises. According to some press reports there are plans for Japan-U.S. joint exercises involving Osprey aircraft to be implemented in December in Yamato Town in Kumamoto Prefecture. Apparently night flight exercises are also being considered. Could you tell us the facts behind these reports?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, in the United States-Japan Joint Committee in September 2016 it was agreed to establish a new framework for the relocation of training exercises for Osprey aircraft deployed at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma to outside Okinawa Prefecture, in order to further alleviate the burden of bases on Okinawa Prefecture. Exercises took place in Guam in September last year. Also, this year joint exercises with Osprey aircraft have taken place in March in Niigata Prefecture and Gunma Prefecture and in August in Hokkaido. As you have noted, the Ground Self-Defense Force Western Army and the U.S. Marine Corps are currently making preparations for joint exercises in which Osprey aircraft from Futenma will participate. Once the specific dates, location and details of the exercises have been confirmed between the Japanese and U.S. authorities, we will be informing the local governments concerned.

REPORTER: I have a question on a different topic. I believe that this is something that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also inquiring about to Iraqi authorities, but Japanese people are thought to be among the approximately 1,300 family members of ISIL fighters currently being held by Iraqi forces. What information does the Government currently have with regard to this matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware of the reports on this matter and the facts are currently in the process of being confirmed.

REPORTER: If Japanese persons are among the people being held I imagine that such persons would be repatriated immediately. Is the Government making any preparations in anticipation of such an event?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The facts behind these reports are currently being confirmed. I would like to refrain from saying anything further due to the nature of the matter.


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