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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Friday, October 14, 2011 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER:I would like to inquire about the Three Principles on Arms Exports, which I also asked about this morning. At an impromptu interview in Yokohama, the Prime Minister commented that Japan would firmly adhere to the Three Principles, but that the issue requires concrete and regular consideration, insinuating that he sees a review of the Three Principles in a positive light. You were rather cautious in your response in this morning's press conference, so I would again like to ask you to clarify the Government's stance on this issue.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:I believe that his comment referred to considerations already underway on policy in response to global changes in the environment of defense equipment. A document released late last year indicated that there is an emerging trend where advanced nations are realizing more sophisticated equipment and responding to skyrocketing costs by participating in joint development and production on the international level, and that consideration would be made on new policy in order to respond to this major change. It is my understanding that Prime Minister Noda's comment in Yokohama today was in line with this.


REPORTER:I would like to ask about the integrated reform of the social security system and taxation. Today, at a press conference following the Cabinet meeting, Finance Minister Jun Azumi expressed that the Government would begin working on a bill for the taxation system once discussion on the social security system has been concluded, saying, "The Ministry of Finance will really come into play once discussions are made on the modality of the social security system, not the consumption tax, and consensus is reached on the issues of pension, medical care, and nursing." The Government and Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) released the proposal for integrated reform in June of this year. Is it correct to say that work will not begin tax-related laws until consensus is reached on a - perhaps "new" is not the best word - more detailed concept for a social security system?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:No, I do not believe that is a correct analysis of Minister Azumi's intentions. As you have said, the final proposal for the integrated reform of the social security system and taxation denotes a major policy, both for taxation and social security. Now, although still at the policy level, the content of the social security policy is being discussed in a very detailed manner. Of course, moving forward these issues are going to be advanced in parallel, and in terms of legal matters in particular, bills must be submitted by the end of the current fiscal year. This is particularly relevant for the tax-related issues. So, I believe that tax issues will naturally be addressed in parallel with the social security system.


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