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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday, April 2, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The latest Tankan Survey (Short-term Economic Survey)
  • Myanmar (the recent legislature by-elections)


REPORTER: The latest Tankan Survey (Short-term Economic Survey) of business sentiment has recently been issued by the Bank of Japan (BOJ), with the diffusion index of business conditions as reported by large manufacturing enterprises being four points lower than the previous survey, which is a result that fell below market expectations. There are those who consider that the background to these results is the sense of alert among companies concerning the opacity in the outlook for the economy. How does the Government perceive the latest survey?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I hear that the status of business sentiment in the latest Tankan Survey is generally unchanged from the previous survey. In the non-manufacturing sector the negative appraisal has reduced somewhat and there are some small signs of recovery in business sentiment. There is also the correction of the yen appreciation and the recovery in stock market prices to take into account, and while it is expected that these will help to ensure that the recovery trend in the economy will gain a surer footing, on the other hand there are concerns about deceleration in the global economy, and the impact which may be caused by rising crude oil prices. It is for these reasons that the Government continues to maintain a sense of caution and will therefore continue to closely monitor economic trends going forward.

REPORTER: The results of the legislature by-elections held yesterday in Myanmar suggest that the opposition party led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has won an overwhelming victory. What is the Government's response to this result and what effect do you think this will have on yen loans, which are currently frozen, and other measures?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Although the final tallies have yet to be confirmed, according to local reports from election monitors, it would appear that the vote counting is being implemented smoothly without undue confusion. The Government of Japan hopes that the results of these elections, in which Daw Aung San Suu Kyi participated, will lead to the further advancement of democratization and national reconciliation in Myanmar.

I believe you also asked about yen loans?


CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Our basic position is that the Government will enhance cooperation that is already being implemented in the area of basic human needs, which would directly benefit the people of Myanmar, and would also like to see a situation in which the people of the country can truly feel that progress is being made in efforts towards democratization and national reconciliation. With a view towards the full-fledged restarting of assistance to Myanmar, including yen loans, the current assistance policy towards Myanmar is being reviewed. This process of review will also take into account the results of the recent election, which is being considered as an important aspect of the review. The 4th Japan-Mekong Summit is scheduled to take place on April 21 in Tokyo, and using the opportunity provided by the summit, the Government's policy is to provide assistance to ensure that democratization and national reconciliation moves in Myanmar are further consolidated.


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