Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  May 2013 >  Wednesday, May 22, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Appointment of new Japan Post President
  • Japan-North Korea relations
  • A planned Japan-Thailand summit meeting
  • Monetary policy by the Bank of Japan
  • Measures against cyber attacks
  • Follow up of the May 21 press conference regarding the comfort women issue

REPORTER: Chief Cabinet Secretary, I would like to ask a question regarding the personnel decisions for Japan Post Holdings Co., Ltd. I believe today there was an announcement regarding the personnel decisions for Japan Post. The President will be changed from Mr. Saka to Mr. Nishimuro, and nearly all internal and external Directors will be replaced. What was the aim behind these personnel decisions?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In order to proceed smoothly with the privatization of Japan Post, including its future listing on the stock market, we believe that the management methods of the private sector need to be further introduced. Our belief is that it is suitable to have an individual with a wealth of experience as a company leader serve as the President. New President Nishimuro has served as the President and Chairman of Toshiba Corporation for nine years. He has also served as the Chairman of the Postal Privatization Committee since May of last year and is well-versed in the various challenges facing the postal services. From these perspectives, Mr. Nishimuro was deemed to be best suited to lead the Japan Post Group, and therefore, the Government requested his appointment.


REPORTER: In this morning's press conference, you noted the possibility of resuming the intergovernmental consultations with North Korea. I have a question related to this. In December of last year, or was it November, the previous Noda administration notified North Korea that it would postpone the Japan-North Korea intergovernmental consultations in response to North Korea's launch of a de facto ballistic missile. The consultations have not been resumed since then. Is the current administration continuing with the postponement measure taken by the Noda administration?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: With regard to North Korea, the basic policy of the Abe administration is to comprehensively resolve the abduction, nuclear, and missile issues. And regarding the abductions, the Government, or the Prime Minister, is very much determined to see to it that he himself gets the job done. In this context, an array of possibilities is being explored. I personally am not aware of what the circumstances were previously. If necessary, we will naturally continue with the measure.

REPORTER: Could the Japan-North Korea intergovernmental consultations be resumed even if North Korea does not indicate that it will concede with regard to its nuclear and missile programs?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government's basic policy is to achieve a comprehensive resolution. Due to the nature of the abduction issue, unless Japan moves proactively, this issue will not be resolved. Therefore, the Government will take actions in accordance with our basic view.

REPORTER: Tomorrow, I believe there will be a summit meeting between Prime Minister Yingluck of Thailand and Prime Minister Abe. What are the main items which are expected to be on the agenda?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In January of this year, the Prime Minister visited Thailand. The Prime Minister visited Thailand as the destination of his first overseas visit as Prime Minister. Thailand is one of the countries in Asia with which Japan shares deep economic ties. Furthermore, Thailand is a key state of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Mekong region. At the fundamental level, Japan would like to add further value to the strategic partnership with Thailand. I expect that the two leaders will also exchange a wide range of views regarding security, people-to-people exchanges, and regional information.

REPORTER: Related to this, if I am not mistaken, I believe Thailand has diplomatic relations with North Korea. Will the situation in North Korea naturally be included in the agenda?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I just mentioned a number of items - security, people-to-people exchanges, and the regional situation. I believe a variety of discussions will be carried out in this context.

REPORTER: The Bank of Japan (BoJ) at its Monetary Policy Meeting upgraded its economic outlook, and based on this, decided to maintain the current monetary easing or the current monetary policy. What is your assessment of this intention?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Regarding the BoJ's decision to maintain the quantitative and qualitative monetary easing which it introduced on the 4th of last month, the BoJ has decided to continue to set a 2% price target and therefore the Government hopes the BoJ will take steady steps to swiftly realize this target.


REPORTER: My question concerns the cyber defense unit which will be newly established. Regarding the exercise of the right of self-defense, will this be restricted to cases of cyber attacks which are conducted as part of armed attacks? Or will the right of self-defense be exercised even when there are only cyber attacks? Can you please explain your view at this moment in time?  

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We recognize that responding to cyber attacks is critically important in terms of national security and crisis management. We are currently working to strengthen our readiness to respond to cyber attacks which have grave consequences on peoples' lives. In any case, exercising the right of self-defense in fact has three requirements, that: there is an imminent and illegitimate act of aggression against Japan; there are no appropriate means to deal with such aggression other than by resorting to the right; and the use of armed force is confined to the minimum necessary level. If these requirements are met, then the right of self-defense may be exercised. At any rate, I believe it will be decided in view of the international situation, the intent expressed by the opposing country, the means of attack, and the individual specific circumstances.


CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Regarding the matter I said I will look into yesterday, that is, regarding (Prime Minister Abe saying) "something to this effect," what Prime Minister Abe told President Bush during the Japan-U.S. summit meeting was the same as the statement that Prime Minister Abe made during his talks with members of the U.S. Congress on the day before the summit meeting. The Prime Minister explained to President Bush what the Prime Minister stated at Congress. It is exactly as explained yesterday.

REPORTER: Then, in other words, even if it was said in this sort of way, it was conveyed to President Bush that the Prime Minister holds such views regarding the former comfort women. Is that correct?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Prime Minister stated to (President) Bush during their meeting that the Prime Minister explained as such to members of the Congress.

Page Top

Related Link