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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

March 26, 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: I have a question about the impacts of the fire in Russia. A fire occurred in a shopping center in Siberia and caused many fatalities and injuries, with numerous people still unaccounted for. Does the Government have any information at this point about whether any Japanese nationals have been affected by this disaster?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are aware the Russian authorities are currently engaged in rescue activities and investigations with respect to the fire that you referred to. At the current point, the Government has not received any information that Japanese nationals were injured or otherwise affected. The Government is gathering information. The Government would also like to express sincere condolences for those who have lost their lives in this fire and offer heartfelt sympathies to the families of the victims.
REPORTER: It has been reported that the U.S. military is scheduled to conduct a large-scale evacuation exercise for U.S. citizens residing in the Republic of Korea (ROK) along with the joint military exercises with the ROK. This evacuation exercise will involve approximately 100 volunteers and transport them all the way to the U.S. mainland as the first trial. While this particular issue regards the United States, given that there are said to be about 60,000 Japanese nationals in the ROK, is the Government considering any similar exercises for Japanese nationals?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Needless to say, it is the duty of the Government to make utmost efforts to protect and rescue Japanese nationals if they are in danger overseas. With regard to the matter that you have just mentioned, the Government constantly considers a variety of scenarios and is conducting various exercises with the cooperation of Japanese nationals who reside in the ROK. We also maintain close communication and engage in exchanges of views with them on a regular basis. In addition, to date, the Ministry of Defense and the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) have worked closely with other ministries and agencies concerned to implement exercises relating to protection measures for Japanese nationals overseas. The Government will continue to enhance such measures and make every effort to ensure the safety of Japanese nationals in the ROK.
REPORTER: Prime Minister Abe is scheduled to visit the United States in April. Could you tell us whether at the time of his visit he would discuss with President Trump about responses to the worst-case scenarios in which the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting ends in failure?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Arrangements are currently being made with regard to Prime Minister Abe’s expected visit to the United States next month and a summit meeting with President Trump during the visit. At this point, I would like to refrain from making comments based on conjecture about the specific items to be discussed in the meeting. In any event, what I would say is that, Japan and the United States have closely coordinated policies to date with regard to policies towards North Korea and other areas of mutual concern at various levels, including the leaders’ and foreign ministers’ levels. Specifically, on the occasions of the Japan-U.S. summit telephone talk on March 9 and Foreign Minister Kono’s recent visit to the United States, Japan and the U.S. have confirmed the necessity of maintaining maximum pressure on North Korea and the importance of the cooperation between Japan and the United States in efforts to resolve the abduction issue. I would imagine that, during the Prime Minister’s visit next month, the two leaders will again engage in a candid exchange of views on a broad range of issues, including policies towards North Korea.

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