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Gist of press conference by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga on “sanctions against North Korea”

(Sankei: February 11, 2016 – p. 5)


 “Japan has many times demanded that North Korea comply with relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and has repeatedly issued strong demands that North Korea not commit provocative actions, such as conducting nuclear tests and launching ballistic missiles.

 Regarding the abductee issue as well, Japan has demanded that North Korea send all Japanese abductees home to our country as soon as possible, but the issue remains unresolved. Now North Korea has gone ahead with its fourth nuclear test and launched a ballistic missile. This is a direct and serious threat to the safety of our country and gravely threatens the peace and security of the international community. It is absolutely unacceptable.”

 Q: What is the aim of strengthening sanctions?


 “Japan has expanded the ban on reentry into Japan by missile engineers and banned the entry into Japan of any vessel that has made a port call in North Korea. We eliminated loopholes and made sure that Japanese technologies are not used by North Korea for nuclear and missile development. The sanctions will fully communicate Japan’s will. We hope that our sanctions will influence the response taken in United Nations Security Council resolutions.”


 Q: South Korea has announced the suspension of all operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex.


 “The Government of Japan approves of this move. It is true that we have worked in close coordination with the United States and South Korea, including summit talks, to develop tough measures.”


 Q: Could this lead to a setback in dialogue?


 “We are not thinking of rescinding the agreement reached in Stockholm. We will do everything in our power to have the abductees returned to Japan as soon as possible.”


 Q: Will there be further sanctions?


 “We will consider [further sanctions] from the perspective of what would be most effective under a fundamental policy of ‘dialogue-and-pressure’ and ‘action-for-action.'”


 Q: Will there be a shift in policy toward North Korea?


 “We are not considering [shifting our policy]. The Shinzo Abe administration has been able to pry open a door that had been tightly shut. It is important that Japan make its position clear on these recent events.”

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