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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday, June 24, 2013 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The results of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election
  • 'Abenomics' effects in regional cities
  • The bill concerning the revision of the boundaries of electoral constituencies

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question concerning the results of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election. It was a resounding victory with all candidates from the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and New Komeito elected. What do you believe it was that won over the voters?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, all candidates of the ruling parties were elected, a result that could not have been any more positive. We positioned this election as a prelude to the House of Councillors election and I understand that this election has shown that the Abe Government has the valued support of the citizens of Tokyo.

Most notably, the result of some exit polls shows that 70% of the voters approve our economic policies. I believe that this solid result for the ruling parties at the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election will advance us forward. As for the Abe Government, we are determined to devote ourselves steadily and with a sense of speed to the revitalization of the Japanese economy, reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake and development of thorough crisis management systems without allowing ourselves to become complacent.


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question on the same topic. I believe that we can largely attribute the success of the ruling parties to public support for Abenomics. On the other hand, some people have observed that there has yet to be a measurable economic effect in regional cities. How are you planning to have the effects reach as far as those regions?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: During the lead up to the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election, we promoted our economic, or Abenomic, policies. As I said earlier, approximately 70% of voters approved of Abenomics, therefore I believe that we now have to work to ensure that its effects are actually felt by everyone. For instance, if we look at salaries or the unemployment rate, those indicators are improving, therefore we are determined to ensure that the public will experience the positive effects. At the same time, as for regional cities, as I often say, it was only February that the supplementary budget was promulgated. Following this, it was only after Golden Week in May that the main budget came into effect. It always takes some time before budget effects make it to citizens of regional cities. I understand that the supplementary budget that came into effect in February will from now on be approved by regional prefectural and municipal assemblies, and it is only after this that progress can be made. So in this sense, it is only natural that regional cities cannot yet feel the economic benefits. The main and supplementary budgets were both approved so I am confident, without any doubt, that the economic benefits will be seen.


REPORTER: I have a question concerning the election. When I was finishing university and moving into the workforce, the political system was transitioning from the 1955 System to a two-party system. Reflecting on the results of the most recent Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election where the Japanese Communist Party finished third behind the LDP and New Komeito, while I do not mean to be rude, I cannot help but feel that it was odd. Do you too feel that there is a new era dawning, or that we are now entering a new phase?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I do actually share the same feeling. I believe that we are in the midst of a transitional period where politics will undergo substantial change. I believe that we are now changing from indecisive to decisive politics and from a Diet where politicians only seek to find fault in one another to a Diet that is always publicly accountable.

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question regarding the bill concerning the revision of the boundaries of electoral constituencies. This morning a motion for having the bill deemed rejected was proposed and it is expected that the bill will now be voted on and approved in the House of Representatives session this afternoon. What are your thoughts on the fact that a bill that relates to the election system has to be voted on again?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am extremely disappointed. Earlier I spoke about indecisive politics and I believe that this is a typical example. The "0 increase, 5 reduction" target was approved during the previous Diet session and this bill concerning the boundaries of constituencies followed that approval, therefore I believe that this should not be used for political maneuvering.

This bill is, in a way, procedural law required to implement the "0 increase, 5 reduction" target, which was approved during the previous Diet session. I believe that the House of Councillors does not have any objection to the definition of the boundaries of constituencies and they had their 60 days, so I wish they had fulfilled their responsibility.

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