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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

February 16, 2018 (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: On February 22, Takeshima Day will be observed. Every year since 2013, the Government has sent to the commemorative ceremony the Parliamentary Vice-Minister in charge. Does the Government intend to do the same this year?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We have the same intentions for this year as previous years.
REPORTER: I believe the position of the Government remains the same such that both the Northern Territories and Takeshima were illegally occupied by foreign countries. The Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, and other officials, however, have attended the commemorative ceremony for the Northern Territories on February 7. Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Vice-Minister attends the commemorative ceremony for Takeshima, given that it is hosted by the prefectural government. In the Government’s new Curriculum Guidelines, the Northern Territories and Takeshima are listed together and treated equally. Does the Government have any plans to elevate the status of the Takeshima Day ceremony?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, it is difficult to make a simple comparison between the Government’s initiatives with respect to the Northern Territories and Takeshima disputes because of the difference in their respective backgrounds, circumstances, and so on. Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Cabinet Office Yuhei Yamashita, who is in charge of territorial issues, is scheduled to attend from the Government for this year’s Takeshima Day commemorative ceremony hosted by Shimane Prefecture on February 22.
REPORTER: I have a question regarding next year’s G20 Summit. Some have reported that the Government has begun making the final arrangements for holding the Summit in Fukuoka City. Is this true?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, nothing has been decided at this point in time.
REPORTER: Around when will this decision be made?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: That too has not been decided.
REPORTER: I would like to ask a question concerning developments in the Republic of Korea (ROK) and North Korea. According to a public opinion poll in the ROK, over 70% of the people in the ROK support a ROK-North Korea summit meeting between President Moon and Kim Jong-un. North Korea’s diplomatic charm offensive seems to have gained a level of support in the ROK. First of all, can you please tell us the Government’s views and assessment?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government would like to refrain from commenting on the affairs of another country.
REPORTER: The high expectations of the ROK public for a ROK-North Korea summit meeting could encourage President Moon to visit North Korea. Does the Government intend to support President Moon’s visit to North Korea if it were to happen?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, Japan, the United States, and the ROK are coordinating their policies. Past dialogues with North Korea have not led to its denuclearization in any way, and it is important to consider responses by fully taking into account this lesson. In order to hold meaningful dialogue with North Korea, it is essential that North Korea commits to abandoning its nuclear and missile programs in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner and demonstrate concrete actions to this end.

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