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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

November 21, 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 Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


REPORTER: I have a question about the United States’ re-designation of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. President Trump made the announcement about the re-designation and noted that the Treasury Department will be announcing an additional sanction on North Korea on November 21. Could you tell us the Government’s view on this announcement and also whether the Government of Japan is considering further unilateral sanctions?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NOGAMI: In order to make North Korea change its policies it is necessary to create a situation in which North Korea will seek to engage in dialogue, using all means to maximize pressure on North Korea, including making diplomatic calls on all countries to fully implement the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, introduce unilateral measures, and downgrade their relations with North Korea. In any event, the Government will seriously consider our responses, working closely with the United States and other countries concerned, from the perspective of what would be the most effective means of strengthening pressure on North Korea with a view to comprehensively resolving all matters of concern.

REPORTER: From your point on what would be most effective in placing pressure on North Korea, do you think further sanctions of Japan’s own could be one of the options?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NOGAMI: As I have just noted, the Government will continue to consider its response from the perspective of what would be the most effective means of strengthening pressure on North Korea.

REPORTER: I have another, slightly related question, concerning the East Asia Summit (EAS) that Prime Minister Abe attended last week in the Philippines. The Chairman’s Statement issued at the EAS includes a paragraph that “condemned ” North Korea and also contained the word “concerns ” in relation to the issue of the South China Sea. What is the Government’s view and evaluation of this statement?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NOGAMI: The Chairman’s Statement of the ASEAN-related summit meetings, including the EAS, was issued at the discretion of the Philippines, which holds the presidency. The statement expressed “serious concern” over the escalation of tensions in the Korean Peninsula  and also used the strong expression “condemned ,” which has not previously been used to refer to North Korea in the Chairman’s Statement of the EAS. The importance of addressing the abduction issue was also emphasized. With regard to the South China Sea, the expression “concerns ” was used, which had not previously been included in ASEAN-related summit meeting statements. Furthermore, the Chairman’s Statement also stressed the importance of resolving disputes by peaceful means, in accordance with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and the importance of non-militarization , taking into account the overall developments in the South China Sea. 


REPORTER: I have a question about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. According to an article in the Sankei Shimbun newspaper this morning, it appears as if it will not be possible to reach an agreement with Canada on the TPP and that the agreement will proceed among the ten remaining countries. Could you tell us the facts behind this report?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NOGAMI: In the agreement reached in Da Nang the week before last, with regard to the cultural exception issue proposed by Canada, it was noted that such items should be substantialized prior to the signing of the agreement. With regard to items that have been suspended , it is basically the case that the proposer will seek to gain agreement among all countries. The Ministerial Statement issued in Da Nang also notes that efforts will continue toward finalizing those items for which consensus has not yet been achieved , and at the current point no decision has been made to reject such items. Furthermore, at the ministerial meeting, agreement was reached on a draft agreement that would put the TPP into effect in 11 countries and it is not true that there was discussion on signing the agreement without certain countries in attendance. In any event, the Government will continue to work with all countries concerned to achieve the early entry into force of the TPP.

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