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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Friday, June 21, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Consideration on amendment of the Bank of Japan Act
  • Japan-ROK bilateral currency swap
  • The draft bill to revise the boundaries of electoral constituencies
  • The no-confidence motion against the speaker of the House of Councillors

REPORTER: Yesterday in the policy pledges announced by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and also in the J-File, under the item of bold monetary easing and breaking away from deflation, amendment of the Bank of Japan Act was stated as one option for the future. How serious is the Government about actually implementing amendments to the Bank of Japan Act?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Prime Minister has spoken about this issue on a number of occasions. The Government's concept is that if necessary, amendment of the Bank of Japan Act will naturally be considered.


REPORTER: I have a question concerning the Japan-ROK bilateral currency swap arrangements that are due to expire on July 3. The Governor of the Bank of Korea has said that if it is to the benefit of both Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) to extend the swap arrangements, it would be acceptable to extend them. I would like to ask whether this currency swap arrangement is of benefit for Japan and if it is, could you tell us what specific benefits it provides?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Until the deadline expires, if it is considered necessary the arrangement will be extended, however, if the ROK considers it to not be necessary, at that point in time the Government of Japan will make a judgment as well.

REPORTER: So are you saying specifically that the Government of Japan does not actively consider the arrangement to be necessary?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: That is the way the Government is thinking.


REPORTER: With regard to the draft bill to revise the boundaries of electoral constituencies, a vote in the House of Councillors today has been postponed, with a view to the bill being reapproved by the ruling parties on June 24, at the start of next week. With regard to this series of moves surrounding the bill, it appears that the ruling parties are to submit a motion of no-confidence against the speaker of the House of Councillors. What is your view of the response made by the diet affairs committee chairpersons [of ruling parties]?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, I believe that the decision made by the committee chairperson of the Special Committee of the House of Representatives on Political Ethics and Election Law, a member of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) was strange. The fact that the chairperson did not allow questions from the ruling parties of the LDP and New Komeito in the Special Committee caused confusion in the Diet. Given that Diet questions are a basis for democracy itself, I believe that the chairperson's decision to deny the ruling parties the opportunity to pose questions is absolutely intolerable.

As I have said previously with regard to the bill to reduce the number of seats in the House of Representatives by five seats with no increase in numbers - the so-called "0 increase, 5 reduction" bill, this draft bill was based on agreement achieved last year among the LDP, New Komeito and DPJ. The current state of unconstitutionality was pointed out last year and the three major parties, and other political parties too, agreed on the need to correct this situation as soon as possible by submitting the "0 increase, 5 reduction" bill to the Diet. Based on these events and given that this is a procedural bill, I consider it to be unthinkable that it would not be approved. I think it should be approved without further ado.

REPORTER: With regard to the no-confidence motion against the speaker of the House of Councillors, do you also consider that the speaker's acts are deserving of such a motion?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I don't know whether it is a good idea to speak about this issue from the position of the Government, but at the very least I believe that the "0 increase, 5 reduction" bill should have been duly deliberated and that the House of Councillors should have been given due opportunity to state its thoughts on the bill in the plenary session. I believe that such an opportunity should be provided.

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