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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

November 9, 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 President Trump’s visit to Asia. The U.S-China summit finished a short while ago. President Trump has now concluded summit meetings with Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK) and China. What is the view of the Government concerning the outcomes of these summit meeting that President Trump held?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, President Trump chose Japan as the first destination of his visit to Asia and during his visit the  two leaders of Japan and the United States engaged in in-depth discussions on the issue of North Korea and agreed completely that the two countries will take the lead in the  concerted efforts of the international community to step up pressure on North Korea to the maximum, using all means. Looking also at the outcomes of the U.S.-ROK and U.S.-China summit meetings, the Government considers that the discussions in the Japan-U.S. summit meeting were, indeed, of great significance. The Government believes that President Trump’s visit to Asia will further concretize our basic policy of continuing to engage in joint Japan-U.S. and Japan-U.S.-ROK efforts, while gaining the cooperation of China and Russia and other countries concerned to ensure that the international community as a whole places pressure on North Korea to change its policies.

REPORTER: In the U.S.-China summit meeting President Xi referred to a resolution through dialogue. How will the Government of Japan continue to approach China with regard to the issue of North Korea?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: There is also a Japan-China summit meeting scheduled to take place in the near future. I believe that the direction of Japan and China’s positions regarding the issue of North Korea are in alignment, namely that the world must impose the unprecedentedly strong resolutions adopted by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and that the resolutions must also be fully implemented by China, which has the greatest influence on North Korea in terms of trade volume, as we seek to make North Korea change its policies.

REPORTER: I have a question concerning the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy  that is being promoted by the Abe administration. Prime Minister Abe will depart today to attend the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and the ASEAN-related Summit Meetings. Could you tell us how the Prime Minister will advocate this policy to other Asian countries and also tell us about its significance?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Indo-Pacific region is home to more than half the world’s population and is indeed at the center of global vitality. It is extremely important to ensure the peace and prosperity of the region by making it free and open. From this perspective, the Government is advancing the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy. In specific terms, we will advance: promotion and establishment of fundamental values, including the freedom of navigation and rule of law; pursuit of economic prosperity through infrastructure development; support for capacity building in maritime law enforcement; and cooperation for peace and stability, including in the area of disaster risk reduction. We seek to work together with countries that support this concept, aiming to achieve a free and open Indo-Pacific region. The Government will utilize the forums of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and the ASEAN-related Summit Meetings to seek the cooperation of other countries.

REPORTER: On the other hand, China is promoting its “One Belt, One Road” initiative as a concept to create a modern-day equivalent to the Silk Road economic sphere concept. What is the relationship between this initiative and the strategy being promoted by the Government?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I do not believe that there is any particular special relationship between our Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy and the “One Belt, One Road” initiative.

REPORTER: I have a question concerning plans for the evacuation of Japanese nationals in the ROK in the event of an emergency on the Korean Peninsula. In an appearance yesterday on a BS Nippon Television program, Defense Minister Onodera stated that the Government is continuously sharing information with the United States and constantly making preparations for the transportation of Japanese nationals by the Self-Defense Forces. Is the Government working with the ROK? If the coordination is not perfect when does the Government intend to request the ROK for consultations on this issue?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, as is obvious, it is the role of the Government to ensure the safety or rescue  Japanese nationals if they are in danger overseas. The Government is constantly collecting information, confirming safety and giving consideration to the necessary preparations, including means of transportation, based on a variety of scenarios. We work closely with the Government of the ROK on a regular basis concerning the safety of Japanese nationals in the ROK, but due to the nature of the matter I would like to refrain from discussing the specific details of our exchanges with the ROK. Suffice it to say that the Government is constantly engaged in efforts to fulfil its duty to ensure the safety or rescue of Japanese nationals if they are in danger overseas.


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