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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

February 1, 2018 (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: The U.S. Department of Defense announced that it conducted an intercept test in Hawaii using the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor missile being developed jointly by Japan and the United States. Several U.S. media outlets have reported that the test was a failure. Could you share with us the facts?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the U.S. Government conducted a missile launch test at the Pacific Missile Range Facility off the coast of Hawaii, United States on January 31, Japan time. I understand that the Ministry of Defense (MOD) is currently verifying the details.

REPORTER: In the case that the test was a failure, in addition to that, the previous test conducted last June was also a failure. The current draft budget lists expenses related to the acquisition of this missile system. What is the current status of the schedule of the introduction of this missile system in Japan, and of any changes to the schedule?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, we have not been informed as to what the test entailed. With regard to the details, I ask that you direct your questions to the MOD. Furthermore, as the MOD is now checking the facts of the recent test, I believe I should not yet make comments under such circumstances.

REPORTER: At yesterday’s meeting of the Budget Committee of the House of Councillors, Prime Minister Abe responded that it was the first time North Korea, a nuclear-weapon state, threatened a non-nuclear-weapon state with the use of nuclear weapons, indicating the view that North Korea is actually a nuclear-weapon state. I believe the Government has not recognized North Korea as a nuclear-weapon state. Can you tell us the Government’s view once again?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests so far, suggesting that its nuclear weapons development may have made considerable progress. In particular, it is analyzed that North Korea’s nuclear test last September had 10 times the estimated power of the atomic bomb dropped in Hiroshima. In addition, North Korea has issued a provocative statement regarding using a nuclear bomb to sink the Japanese archipelago under waters, unilaterally heightening tensions in the region. The Government absolutely does not tolerate North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons, and this policy is unwavering. I believe the Prime Minister’s comment at the Diet was based on this understanding. As this is our understanding, it is not the case that the Government changed its policy or view.


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