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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

September 19, 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 related question. In the face of North Korea’s repeated acts of provocation, I believe, hypothetically speaking, a dissolution of the Diet could cause a political vacuum. What are your overall thoughts on that point?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, regarding the issue of North Korea, the Government is responding with a sense of urgency on a 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year basis to developments in the situation and North Korea’s acts of provocation, such as nuclear and missile tests. We are gathering and analyzing a wide range of information. Ensuring the safety and security of the people is the greatest responsibility of the Government and we will do so as a matter of the highest priority. The Government is currently carrying out various initiatives to that effect.

REPORTER: Are you essentially saying that, in your view, a dissolution of the Diet would not create a political vacuum?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As a matter of course, we are always prepared and taking all necessary measures to protect the lives and peaceful daily lives of the people as our highest priority.

REPORTER: In a television program on CNN, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley stated that if diplomatic options were exhausted, Defense Secretary Mattis would take over, and warned that the United States would not hesitate to carry out military options. Ambassador Haley has implied that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has currently done all that it can, and that there is a limit to the United Nations’ response. How does the Government perceive Ms. Haley’s statement?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, I would like to refrain from commenting on individual interviews with government officials. That said, it goes without saying that the robust deterrence of the U.S.-Japan Alliance is necessary to ensure Japan’s defense, and the peace and security of the region. From that viewpoint, we highly value the position stated by President Trump, namely that all options are on the table. Japan will continue to urge all UNSC member nations to fully implement the UNSC resolutions. By realizing their full implementation, we intend to change North Korea’s policies through pressure.

REPORTER: I have a question related to Japan-U.S. relations. According to some press reports, President Trump will visit Japan from November 5 to 7. Could you please comment on the facts of the matter, and the state of arrangements?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Arrangements for President Trump to visit Japan are still ongoing. At the current time, however, nothing is decided.

REPORTER: I have a question about a Japanese man who was arrested by the authorities in Dalian on charges of spying. What response is the Government of Japan considering?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, regarding the male Japanese national who was detained in Liaoning Province in May of this year, we have confirmed that the individual has been arrested by the Chinese authorities. Ensuring the safety of Japanese nationals is one of the most important responsibilities of the Government, and in regard to this matter, the Government of Japan is providing appropriate support through our diplomatic missions and other means from the perspective of safeguarding the Japanese national. We will also closely monitor China’s handling of the situation. I would like to refrain from making further comments based on the nature of the matter. However, in any case, the Government is doing everything it can from the perspective of safeguarding the Japanese national.


REPORTER: Do you believe the Government’s response to North Korea is one of the main factors behind the recovery?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I do not know. For the Government, protecting the lives, properties, and peaceful daily lives of the people is its greatest responsibility. Furthermore, the people are feeling a great sense of crisis regarding the issue of North Korea, which, in a sense, could be called one of the biggest crises of the post-war period, as North Korea continues to engage in acts of provocation, while completely ignoring UNSC resolutions and international law. Regarding this matter, the Government will continue to work together with the relevant countries, including the Republic of Korea and through the robust U.S.-Japan Alliance, and urge cooperation from China and Russia. Furthermore, as I just mentioned, a UNSC resolution containing extremely strict measures was recently unanimously adopted and we will closely monitor efforts to implement it, through the Sanctions Committee in the UN which verifies the state of the implementation of individual resolutions. The Government will continue to urge all relevant countries to ensure that the entire international community firmly applies this agreed upon pressure.


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question related to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and reports that individuals from Japan and other countries are among the people held at a refugee camp in the northern region of Iraq. It has been reported in the press that the Government of Japan has received an answer from the Government of Iraq that there were no Japanese individuals. What is the Government’s understanding of the situation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We have been confirming the facts with the Government of Iraq. As a result, we have received a report that until now, no Japanese individuals have been found among the families of the combatants.

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