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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

June 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]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga
(There were statements on the overview of the Cabinet meeting, the ministerial discussions following the Cabinet meeting, and others.)
REPORTER: I have a question regarding North Korea. Foreign Minister Lavrov of Russia and Chairman Kim Jong-un of North Korea held a meeting. What is the Government’s view of these moves by North Korea in the run-up to the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting?
<CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Japan is constantly gathering and analyzing information relating to North Korea with grave interest. In the recent Japan-Russia summit meeting held on May 26, the two leaders spent time discussing the situation in North Korea. We will continue to use various opportunities to receive a thorough briefing from Russia about this latest meeting. In any event, given the importance of eliciting concrete actions from North Korea towards the resolution of various issues, we will continue to engage in Japan-U.S. and Japan-U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) cooperation, and work closely with the international community, including Russia and China.
REPORTER: It is also anticipated that the visit by Foreign Minister Lavrov may lead to a Russia-North Korea summit meeting. Could you tell us how the Government intends to make arrangements towards a Japan-North Korea summit meeting with a view to resolving the abduction issue?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are engaging with North Korea through various means, including the embassy channel in Beijing. I would like to refrain from discussing the details of such interactions. In any event, any Japan-North Korea summit meeting has to lead to the resolution of the nuclear and missile issues, and above all the abduction issue, which is a matter of the utmost importance. Accordingly, this is not simply a matter of meeting once and engaging in discussions, but we must ensure that a summit meeting would lead to the resolution of these outstanding issues of concern. As a first step, it is important to continue to engage in Japan-U.S. and Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation and work closely with the international community, including Russia and China, using the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting to elicit concrete actions from North Korea towards resolving the various outstanding issues of concern.
REPORTER: Since December last year, when the Cabinet approved the installment of a new missile defense system, the situation surrounding North Korea has changed on a rather daily basis. Is there no change to the Government’s recognition that missile defense itself is still necessary?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, arrangements are currently being made towards the U.S.-North Korea summit meeting. Meanwhile, it is of the utmost importance to elicit concrete actions from North Korea on the dismantlement of all of its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. Against this backdrop, one of the most important duties of the Government is to protect the lives and peaceful livelihoods of the people of Japan, and there is no change to our policy to introduce the Aegis Ashore system as early as possible in order to ensure that we are capable of responding fully to any situation.

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