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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, October 13, 2011 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER:I have a question related to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). President of the People's New Party Shizuka Kamei has said that two days ago, on October 11, he requested to you over the phone that Minister Shozaburo Jimi be included in the ministerial meetings. Can you verify the facts and discuss the status of the current considerations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:It is true that I received such a request by telephone. And to be frank, I, too, had wondered why he was not included. I asked, and it was brought to my attention that financial matters have not had too much relevance within the scope of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) and Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), and that is why the Minister of State for Financial Services had not been included in the past. However, with the TPP, it was deemed that the Minister should naturally be included and he will be included.

REPORTER:Does that mean that Minister Jimi will be participating from the next meeting?


REPORTER:Concerning TPP, there are some reports that the Government is creating a roadmap for TPP, and that first, agriculture reinforcement measures will be presented as early as October 21. Can you verify the facts? Also, if the Government is planning to present agricultural measures, what is the intent behind presenting them as early as October 21?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:Regarding the TPP Agreement, we are collecting information based on the Basic Policy on Comprehensive Economic Partnerships, which was approved by the Cabinet on November 9 of last year. Our intention at this point in time has not changed and is still to conduct thorough discussions and arrive at a conclusion as quickly as possible. Within the Government, discussions are now taking place based on the instructions given out by the Prime Minister. However, it is not true that the Government is creating a roadmap with the view of hammering it out by the end of the month. A variety of considerations are being made, including agricultural customs, and I would like to refrain from responding about the contents.


REPORTER:I have a question related to government revitalization which came up at this morning's press conference. Today, Minister Renho said that she received instructions from the Prime Minister to carry out a review of government programs in the areas of social security and nuclear power. Can you tell us specifically what sort of things in the social security area or nuclear power-related area that the Prime Minister had in mind in issuing the instructions?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:Since assuming office, the Prime Minister has given out clear, broad instructions that he would like to continue, assess, and furthermore, enhance government revitalization. Minister Renho has reported that she would like to have discussions on the way forward while taking advantage of features such as openness, and as was raised this morning, private-sector perspectives. However, in terms of specific "themes," this is still under consideration. I believe Minister Renho was stating one of the options which she had in mind. More precisely, however, nothing about themes have yet been decided at this point in time.


REPORTER:Regarding the review of the Three Principles on Arms Exports, today the Committee on Defense of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) once again confirmed the party's policy and decided on a policy to request the Government to make prompt considerations. How does the Government intend to respond moving forward and how will it be taking concrete measures?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:Regarding the confirmation and so on of the party's policy that took place today, I have not heard about the contents in detail yet. I am aware that the party compiled a policy last year, and I believe the new committee confirmed this policy. With regard to the Three Principles on Arms Exports, a variety of opinions have been raised in the process of reviewing the National Defense Program Guidelines, and the Government will take this into consideration. The new National Defense Program Guidelines state that consideration will be made about measures in response to changes in the international environment regarding defense equipment. The Government will continue to consider this matter from this broad perspective. A Statement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary was issued on the Three Principles on Arms Exports in December of last year, and our stance is that, "The Three Principles on Arms Exports is based on the basic concept of Japan as a peaceful nation of avoiding the exacerbation of international conflict, and the Government intends to continue to uphold the basic concept."


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