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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

February 9, 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]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga
(There were statements on the overview of the Cabinet meeting and others.)
Prime Minister Abe is scheduled to visit the Republic of Korea (ROK) from February 9 to 10, in order to attend the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games. During his visit, the Prime Minister is also scheduled to hold a Japan-ROK summit meeting with President Moon Jae-in. In the summit meeting, the Prime Minister will clearly convey Japan’s stance on the Japan-ROK agreement concerning the comfort women, and will reaffirm the unity among Japan, the U.S. and the ROK with regard to the issues related to North Korea. In addition, in PyeongChang, the Prime Minister will offer his encouragement to the Japanese Olympic Team athletes and cheer on a Japanese team at an event he will be attending.
REPORTER: I have a question about North Korea, which held a military parade yesterday. On the one hand, North Korea is boasting of its military capacity in such a manner. On the other hand, President Moon of the ROK stressed the importance of dialogue with North Korea in his meeting yesterday with Vice President Pence of the United States. How does the Government evaluate President Moon’s stance?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the series of provoking actions by North Korea, including the holding of a military parade, constitutes clear provocations to the security of the region and the international community and as such are completely unacceptable. Nevertheless, the Olympic and Paralympic Games are festivals of peace and the Government appreciates that inter-Korean efforts have been made to facilitate North Korea’s participation in the Games. Meanwhile, it is important not to be blinded by North Korea’s diplomatic charm offensive. Given the necessity for the international community as a whole to strengthen pressure on North Korea, it is critical to avoid any actions that could run contrary to our moves to increase pressure. It has been confirmed, on various occasions and at various levels, including at the summit and foreign ministerial levels, that we will continue to engage in close Japan-U.S. and Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation to further strengthen pressure on North Korea.
REPORTER: I believe that this is something that will be confirmed in the meeting today between Prime Minister Abe and President Moon. In light of the series of statements made by President Moon, does the Government consider that Japan-U.S.-ROK and Japan-ROK cooperation are still succeeding in placing maximum pressure on North Korea?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any event, as you noted in your question, we continue to engage in close Japan-ROK and Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation. I also expect that at today’s summit meeting, the leaders will reaffirm the unity among Japan, the U.S. and the ROK. There is absolutely no change to our stance of continuing to cooperate bilaterally and trilaterally with the United States and the ROK, while also working closely with China, Russia and other countries concerned, in using all means to place maximum pressure on North Korea to make it change its policies.

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