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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

April 16, 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: Last Saturday, Japan time, the United States, the United Kingdom and France carried out an attack on Syria in response to the use of chemical weapons. Prime Minister Abe is to visit the United States from tomorrow. What message will the Prime Minister convey to President Trump on this action at the Japan-U.S. summit meeting? Could you also tell us the position of the Government of Japan on this issue?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the use of chemical weapons is extremely inhumane and cannot be tolerated under any circumstances and Japan considers their use to be totally unacceptable. The Government of Japan supports the determination of the United States, the United Kingdom and France to never allow the proliferation and use of chemical weapons. On this basis, we understand that the countries took the action to prevent further deterioration of the situation. In East Asia, weapons of mass destruction are posing an increasingly serious threat as well. Under the robust Japan-U.S. Alliance, the Government will continue to fulfill its role to maintain peace and stability of the region and the world, while collaborating and cooperating with the international community. Although I would like to refrain from making comments based on conjecture on the topics to be discussed at the Japan-U.S. summit meeting, I would expect that there will be discussions on the issues concerning the Middle East, including the issue of Syria.
REPORTER: Some pointed out that, in upcoming dialogues with North Korea, the abduction issue would be more difficult than the nuclear and missile issues, and many Japanese feel the same. There has not really been any clear explanation as to why the abduction issue is so difficult to resolve. I imagine that sharing this point is important for gaining the support and cooperation of President Trump and other countries and genuinely resolving the issue. Could you explain the Government’s views on this issue?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The nuclear and missile issues are common issues for the whole international community. Indeed, there are many countries other than Japan, which are taking the initiative on these issues. While the abduction issue is also an international issue, it would be difficult to resolve this issue unless Japan takes the initiative in raising and dealing with the issue. Concrete actions by North Korea are necessary to resolve the issue. Meanwhile, it has not demonstrated any action at all to resolve the issue, such as unilaterally announcing its withdrawal from the Stockholm Agreement, in which it declared its intention to resolve all issues relating to Japanese citizens including the abductees. Through meetings held at various levels, including Japan-U.S. and Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) summit meetings, we will continue to advocate the importance of the abduction issue and use international pressure as leverage for achieving its resolution without further delay.

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