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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Friday, June 21, 2013 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

  • An overview of the Cabinet meeting

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to give an overview of the Cabinet meeting. The meeting approved 16 measures for submission to the Diet, the promulgation of laws, draft bills, cabinet orders, and personnel decisions. With regard to statements by ministers, Minister Furuya made a statement concerning the Overview of Measures taken for Disaster Management and the FY2013 Disaster Management Plan. Minister Mori made a statement concerning the White Paper on Gender Equality and the Gender Equality Week, and concerning the FY2012 consumer policy implementation status and the report on the findings from the information collected and analyzed regarding consumer accidents, etc. The Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications made a statement concerning the FY2012 report on the implementation status of policy evaluation, etc. and the status of its reflection in policies. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister Furuya made a statement concerning the FY2012 report on the Government's initiatives for resolving the abduction issue and responding to other human rights violations by North Korean authorities.

In ministerial discussions following the Cabinet meeting, the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications made a statement concerning the guidelines on reviewing the administrative appeal system.


  • Government responses to heavy rainfall
  • The stock markets
  • The postponement of the President of Brazil's visit to Japan
  • The final disposal of the designate waste produced by the nuclear accident

REPORTER: Heavy rainfall has caused various damages, including landslides, mainly in West Japan. The heavy rainfall is expected to continue. Will the Government be taking any measures?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In response to the heavy rainfall, we have been strengthening our information collection mechanisms, including the holding of a disaster alert meeting among the relevant ministries and agencies at the director-level yesterday. Also, this morning, the Prime Minister once again issued two instructions to Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary for Crisis Management Yonemura, which were to be on full alert for the heavy rainfall that is still to come and to continue to monitor and watch out for it with a sense of alertness, as well as to stand ready to take all possible disaster response measures should the rainfall cause further damages. In light of the Prime Minister's instructions, the Government will take concerted responses with a sense of alertness.

REPORTER: I have a question regarding the stock markets. Yesterday and today, both the U.S. and Japanese stock markets fell sharply once again. While it is said that the stock markets were affected by the announcement of Chairman Bernanke of the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) regarding the schedule of an exit strategy from quantitative easing, what do you think about the impact that the U.S. exit strategy from quantitative easing will have on the Japanese economy and so on?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In the G8 Summit Communique which was agreed upon the other day, it states that monetary policy should continue to support the recovery and be directed towards domestic price stability, according to the respective mandates of central banks. I believe that it is up to the FRB to determine the monetary policy of the U.S. based on U.S. economic trends, and Japan is not in a position to comment on its pros and cons. However, Japan will continue to aim to overcome deflation at an early date and achieve private sector-led economic growth by promoting all three prongs or "arrows" in an integrated manner, and carry out appropriate macroeconomic management.

REPORTER: I understand that due to the outbreak of large-scale demonstrations in Brazil, the visit to Japan by President Rousseff of Brazil that was scheduled for next week has been cancelled. Can you verify the facts and share with us your thoughts on this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We were informed by Brazil that in view of the present demonstrations taking place in the country, it must regrettably postpone the visit to Japan of President Rousseff of Brazil which was scheduled from the 26th to 28th of this month. Japan had invited President Rousseff to visit Japan from before, and the two Governments will once again coordinate the itinerary of the President's visit to Japan.

REPORTER: Yesterday, with regard to the final disposal of the designated waste which was produced due to the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station accident, the Ministry of the Environment announced that it will not change its existing policy of disposing of the waste at the location where the waste was generated. However, the municipalities accepting the waste are protesting, making the final decision of candidate areas difficult. How will the Government be obtaining the understanding of these areas going forward?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: With regard to the processing of designated waste, it is the basic position of the Government that it is suitable to dispose of the waste on a prefectural basis, with each region dealing with this issue. Not only in Fukushima Prefecture, but also in the other prefectures, especially the five prefectures of Miyagi, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, and Chiba, swift disposal is imperative. In the five prefectures, municipality councils which were established have been holding discussions. I am aware that in the context of these discussions, opinions were expressed that the waste should be aggregated and disposed of in Fukushima Prefecture. Meanwhile, Fukushima Prefecture responded that the Government should dispose of the waste in the respective prefectures pursuant to the Act on Special Measures concerning the Handling of Environment Pollution by Radioactive Materials and Basic Principles. In light of this, yesterday, Senior Vice Minister of Environment Inoue made such an announcement. The Government expects that in-depth discussions will continue to be held in the five relevant prefectures.


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