"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Press Conference by the Prime Minister on the Missile Launch by North Korea and Other Matters

[Date] March 25, 2021
[Source] Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet
[Notes] Provisional Translation
[Full text]

(On the missile launch by North Korea)

A short while ago, North Korea launched two ballistic missiles. This missile launch, the first in roughly a year since March 29 last year, threatens the peace and security of Japan and the region. It is also a violation of United Nations resolutions. Japan has lodged a strong protest and strongly condemns this act.

The Government has confirmed that the missiles landed in the Sea of Japan outside Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone, but it is necessary for us to strengthen our surveillance and reconnaissance still further, and just now I urgently convened a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC), where we discussed intelligence gathering and response measures. We will work in close cooperation with the United States, the Republic of Korea, and other relevant countries, and I am determined to fully and resolutely defend the lives of the Japanese people and their peaceful daily lives.

(On the Olympic torch relay)

The Olympic torch relay that kicks off today is an invaluable opportunity for the citizens to realize in a tangible way that the Olympic and Paralympic Games are soon approaching. I hope it will raise momentum in each community it reaches. In order to hold safe and secure Games, we will make exhaustive efforts to prevent infections, conducting our preparations in cooperation with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Organising Committee, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

In addition, we will keep a close eye on the novel coronavirus situation in each area and we will work to hold the Games by making all-out preparations, in cooperation with local governments.

(On holding the Olympic Games)

As I stated just now, we will implement all possible means to counter the coronavirus and work in collaboration with each local area in order to comprehensively prevent the spread of infections and deliver Games that are safe and secure.

(On the intention behind launching a missile)

We are undertaking an analysis of that right now.

(On an exchange of views with President Biden concerning policies on North Korea)

I intend to hold in-depth discussions regarding policies on North Korea, including about this ballistic missile launch, and work in close cooperation going forward.