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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

September 1, 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 concerning North Korea. Following its launch of a ballistic missile on August 29, Spain and the United Kingdom have issued protests to the North Korean ambassadors in their respective countries. In addition, Spain has reportedly notified the expulsion of a North Korean diplomat posted to Madrid. This can be seen as pressure being increased on North Korea, so can I ask for a comment from the Government?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the launch of a ballistic missile by North Korea on August 29, which flew over Japan, poses an unprecedented, grave and serious threat to the international community, including Japan. The Government is closely following the responses taken by other key countries to the North Korean issue, and it is the case that many other governments have issued statements condemning the latest launch. I am aware that both the United Kingdom and Spain, which you mentioned in your question, have strongly condemned the provocative actions by North Korea and are taking firm responses. The Government considers that such moves are an effective means of applying further pressure on North Korea by the international community. These moves are also in line with Japan’s stance that it is now necessary to strengthen pressure on North Korea. The Government will continue to work closely with the countries concerned, including European countries, to put greater pressure on North Korea and strongly urge concrete actions towards the resolution of outstanding issues.


REPORTER: I am joining this press conference for the first time in four weeks. In that time North Korea has launched missiles and the Prime Minister’s Office has also been beset by a barrage from the Tokyo Shimbun on various issues, both at home and abroad. You have stated from before that the Government is taking all possible measures to protect the safety and security of the people of Japan. I have a question about a comment made by the Prime Minister on August 31, at the Japan-UK Business Forum. Regarding the visit to Japan by Prime Minister May of the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Abe stated, “It would have been nice if Prime Minister May was able to spend a night and relax in Kyoto,” which is appropriate in terms of demonstrating Japanese hospitality. However, he then went on to state that “I too would have been able to relax.” Given that this comment comes immediately after a missile launch and there have also been two missile launches in July, this comment strikes me as somewhat inappropriate. Can I ask for your view on this point?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: This summer the Prime Minister has been taking steady responses so that the Government is ready at all times to ensure the safety and security of the people of Japan.

REPORTER: Rather than the “I too would have been able to relax” comment, under normal circumstances one would expect the Prime Minister to express the hope that Prime Minister May could relax more, fully take in all that Japan has to offer and share her experiences upon her return home, noting that he could be of some help for this. Do you not think that Prime Minister Abe’s comment was inappropriate?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am not aware of the details, but based on what you have stated it seems that the Prime Minister expressed the hope that Prime Minister May could spend a relaxing time in Kyoto.

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