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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

December 20, 2017 (AM)

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Simultaneous interpretation services for this video are provided by a third party.

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


REPORTER: Yesterday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang Kyung-wha of the Republic of Korea (ROK) asked Prime Minister Abe to take part in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Could you tell us how the Government intends to respond at this point in time?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, when Foreign Minister Kang paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister yesterday, she expressed the hope that Prime Minister Abe would visit the ROK at the time of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Prime Minister Abe responded that a visit would be considered in light of the Diet schedule and other circumstances permitting, and that he hoped the Pyeongchang Games will be a great success.

REPORTER: The ROK currently  plans to announce the findings of the review on the Japan-ROK agreement regarding the comfort women issue on December 27. Could you please comment on whether the findings of this review will have an impact when determining if the Prime Minister will attend the Pyeongchang Games?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I have just shared with you what the Prime Minister stated. That says it all.

REPORTER: I have a related question. It has also been noted that the findings of the ROK’s review would present a negative assessment of the Japan-ROK agreement. I would like to confirm whether my understanding is correct that regardless of the outcomes of the review by the ROK, the Government of Japan will not make any reviews to the agreement.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government’s position on this matter remains as I have explained it on previous occasions.

REPORTER: The Government has always stated that in the Japan-ROK agreement both countries agreed that the issue is resolved finally and irreversibly. What is your view on the ROK’s moves to review the agreement?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As was also the case in yesterday’s Japan-ROK foreign ministers’ meeting, the Government has indicated its position on this matter to the ROK. There is no change to our posture of continuing to persistently use every opportunity to request that the ROK steadily implement the agreement.

REPORTER: In yesterday’s press conference and on other occasions, Foreign Minister Kono indicated that given the necessity for greater mobility on overseas visits he will seek the introduction of a Foreign Minister’s plane. What is the Government’s current thinking on the need for a dedicated Foreign Minister’s plane?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We believe this matter will be considered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Government would like to refrain from commenting on the results of such considerations at this point in time.

REPORTER: I have a question about the cyberattacks  last May that caused damage in areas around the world. The United States has stated that the attacks were implemented on the orders of the Kim Jong-un administration of North Korea. Does the Government of Japan share this view?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government is of the view that North Korea was involved in the WannaCry incident. I would like to refrain from going into further details.

REPORTER: What is the Government’s reason for reaching the conclusion that North Korea was involved?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Although I would like to refrain from going into detail about the background due to the nature of the matter, I would like to set out clearly that North Korea was involved in the incident.


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