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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

October 30, 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]



REPORTER: I have a question about President Duterte of the Philippines, who has arrived in Japan. In a press conference prior to his departure for Japan the President stated that dialogue with North Korea is necessary. This statement diverges from the stance of Japan, the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) to strengthen pressure on North Korea, so what way forward will the Government be seeking to confirm in the Japan-Philippines summit meeting today?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, at the Japan-Philippines summit meetings that have been held to date, the leaders have confirmed that the two countries will participate closely in responding to North Korea-related issues. I would like to refrain from making any comments based on conjecture about what will be discussed at today’s summit meeting. What I would say is that this summit meeting is being held ahead of the ASEAN-related summit meetings in November and provides a valuable opportunity to engage in frank discussions about North Korea. It is important to place maximum pressure on North Korea to compel it to change its policies and the Government will be seeking to confirm that point.

REPORTER: Can I confirm, therefore, that the Prime Minister will convey to President Duterte the need for pressure on North Korea and confirm that the Philippines shares this view with Japan, the United States and the ROK?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I believe that basically this is what will be confirmed at the summit meeting.

REPORTER: I have a question concerning the Osprey aircraft. The Mainichi Shimbun newspaper has revealed that the probability of serious accidents involving Osprey aircraft operated by the U.S. Marine Corps is approximately 1.5 times greater than the figure released by the Government of Japan five years ago. What is the Government’s understanding with regard to the current situation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the Government is unaware of the official accident rate and I understand that the Ministry of Defense has requested the U.S. to provide information on the latest figures as of the end of September 2017. I would add that the accident rate is used as one way of measuring the safety record, but given that accidents also occur due to factors other than mechanical issues, such as maintenance mistakes or operational mistakes, it is not appropriate to evaluate the safety of the aircraft on the accident rate alone and it should only be used as a guiding statistic. In any event, the operation of aircraft by U.S. Forces is predicated on ensuring safety in all aspects. The Government will continue to call on U.S. Forces to pay maximum attention to all aspects of safety.

REPORTER: Is it the Government’s view that the Osprey aircraft is safe?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government considers aspects such as safety and also deterrence capability. In any event, as I have frequently noted, the operation of aircraft is predicated on ensuring safety in all aspects.


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