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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

  • Prime Minister's attendance to the Memorial Ceremony to Commemorate the Fallen on the 68th Anniversary of the End of the Battle of Okinawa

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: On June 23, the Prime Minister will take a day trip to Okinawa Prefecture to attend the Memorial Ceremony to Commemorate the Fallen on the 68th Anniversary of the End of the Battle of Okinawa.


  • The evaluation of the G8 summit
  • Japan-ROK relations
  • Prime Minister's attendance to the Memorial Ceremony to Commemorate the Fallen on the 68th Anniversary of the End of the Battle of Okinawa
  • Prime Minister's comments on his Facebook page

REPORTER: The G8 Summit came to a close last night. Having seen the Leaders' Communique that summarizes the outcomes of the Summit, what is your opinion of it?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, I have the thought that at this summit gathering of global leaders, the economic policy of Japan has not been discussed in the past as much as it was this time. In the midst of that, I believe that we were able to achieve the objectives we had anticipated. In particular, in the Leaders' Communique, the three prongs or "arrows" of our economic policy which the Prime Minister has been pushing forward are articulated one by one, receiving high commendation, and a strong feeling of expectation and high praise is expressed by the G8 leaders. Moving forward, Japan would like to revitalize the Japanese economy and contribute to the development of the global economy. This is what we think. Furthermore, on North Korean issues as well, Prime Minister Abe led the discussion, stating that the possession of nuclear weapons by North Korea should not be tolerated and calling for the complete execution of United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolutions. There were also discussions of initiatives on human rights violations, including the abduction issue. All of this is reflected, as it should be, in the Leaders' Communique. In addition, on the situation in Syria and terrorism countermeasures, there was a candid exchange of opinions and in relation to the initiatives of Japan, the Prime Minister made a statement about what should be done. I believe it was a summit in which Japan was able to show a major presence.

REPORTER: The Leaders' Communique urges Japan to implement initiatives for fiscal reform. Specifically, what sort of policies are you thinking to execute?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Rather than urging Japan, I think that fiscal reform is naturally an important issue, and the G8 Communique states that monetary policy should be directed towards domestic price stability, according to the respective mandates of the central banks of each country over their own monetary policy. In any case, the Prime Minister explained monetary policies aimed at overcoming deflation, and these were understood. Moreover, in regard to fiscal reform, this is covered in the Basic Policies 2013. The Prime Minister will carry out economic policies while also thoroughly considering such matters. This topic was explained and understood during the G8 Summit. This is what I think about the matter.


REPORTER: Some media outlets are reporting that coordination is underway on a Japan-ROK Foreign Ministers' Meeting. Could you please tell us what the current state of coordination is?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I have seen such reports. Communication is underway with the Republic of Korea on a regular basis at various levels. This is how it has been up until now, but in terms of that stage and what will happen from now, I would like to refrain from commenting on individual interactions.

REPORTER: In your opening statement you said that the Prime Minister will pay a visit to Okinawa Prefecture. I believe that coordination was undertaken to have the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Defense attend as well...

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Currently, coordination is underway, with Minister Yamamoto, Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishida, Minister of Defense Onodera, Parliamentary Secretary Marukawa, and Parliamentary Secretary Shimajiri scheduled to attend.


REPORTER: In relation to Prime Minister Abe's Facebook page, Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary General Hosono has criticized the page, as has Director of the Youth Division Koizumi from within the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP). The criticism against the Prime Minister is that they feel a politician should not criticize an individual. What is your opinion on this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, concerning the issue related to the Prime Minister's Facebook page, my position is, I believe the Prime Minister wrote the post on Facebook about officials with responsibility for diplomacy. Rather than this being about an individual, I think it is a matter of how an official with responsibility for diplomacy should act. Facebook is a place for everyone to hear many opinions, and I think that in a certain sense it is natural that there would be a variety of opinions.

REPORTER: In terms of the way the Prime Minister communicated that message though, for example, Secretary General Hosono said what he said on the Nichiyo Toron talk show. Secretary General Hosono stated that the LDP is trying to turn Japan into a country that can go to war. While I think this is a mistaken understanding of the facts, he said this about the LDP. The Prime Minister may have misunderstood this statement to mean that Secretary General Hosono was saying that there were people in the LDP who wanted to go to war, but in response to this, he said things that seem like strong criticism just looking at the words as they are written, including a statement inferring that the DPJ tells lies in the same way that other people exhale breath. Opposition parties responded strongly to this. I want to ask what you think about the fact that the Prime Minister used Facebook to make this strong criticism of an opposition party.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In the Diet we are involved in intensive discussion on the budget to an extent not seen in the past. The Prime Minister receives various questions from opposition parties there, and I believe that various, thorough statements have been made there, in the Diet.

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