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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

April 2, 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 Japan-U.S. summit meeting that is planned for the middle of April. I believe that the policies on North Korea will be a major focus of the summit meeting. Could you tell us what outcomes the Government expects from this meeting?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Prime Minister Abe’s visit to the United States, which is planned for this month, is still being finalized and nothing has been decided on the specific schedule at present. I would also like to refrain from making comments based on conjecture at this stage regarding the specific issues to be discussed and anticipated outcomes. In any event, I expect that the two leaders will engage in a candid exchange of views on matters of mutual concern, including the policies towards North Korea.
REPORTER: I have a related question. On a radio program last night, you indicated that the steel and aluminum import restrictions imposed by the United States would probably be on the agenda. Could you tell us again Japan’s position on this matter and how the Government intends to achieve a breakthrough in the situation?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, in the areas of the economy and trade, the importance of free trade is a matter of mutual interests; it is expected that both leaders would address that at the summit meeting. Furthermore, to date, we have already conveyed to the United States our concerns over the tariff measures on steel and aluminum at various levels, utilizing various and appropriate opportunities.
REPORTER: The U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) joint military exercises have begun yesterday. These exercises are being held ahead of the anticipated inter-Korean Summit and U.S.-North Korea summit meeting. What is the Government’s view of these exercises?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the U.S.-ROK joint military exercises, along with Japan-U.S. joint military exercises and Japan-U.S.-ROK trilateral security and defense cooperation, are an important part of our deterrence. From the perspective of maintaining maximum pressure on North Korea, the Government would like to welcome the steady implementation of the U.S.-ROK joint military exercises. The governments of the United States and the ROK have announced that the military exercises will be conducted on a similar scale to previous years. It should also be noted that the exercises were postponed this year until the closing of the PyeongChang Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Therefore, it is not appropriate to consider it as deliberation for North Korea just because of the duration of the exercise.
REPORTER: Over the weekend Chairman Kim Jong-un of North Korea reportedly met with President Thomas Bach of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and indicated that he would fully support the participation of North Korean athletes in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Can I ask for a comment from the Government about this?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, I would like to refrain from making comments on behalf of the Government on interactions between third parties. The Government will monitor the arrangements to be made between the IOC and the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and we will continue to work closely with all parties concerned, towards the success of the Tokyo 2020.

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