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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Tuesday, July 30, 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 three general measures, the promulgation of treaties, a cabinet order, and personnel decisions. With regard to statements by ministers, Minister Inada, Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications ad interim, made a statement concerning the results of the labor force survey and the results of the household budget survey. The Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare made a statement concerning the national ratio of jobs to applicants for June 2013. The Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology made a statement concerning personnel affairs relating to the heads of national university corporations. In ministerial discussions following the Cabinet meeting, Minister Tanigaki, Acting Minister of State for Disaster Management, on behalf of Minister Furuya, made a statement concerning the damages caused by the heavy rainfall and other factors since July 26.


  • The overall unemployment rate
  • The Osprey aircraft
  • The establishment of a National Security Council

REPORTER: The overall unemployment rate for last month was 3.9%, recovering to the 3% level for the first time in four years and eight months. How do you analyze this figure?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The overall unemployment rate for June was 3.9%, down from the 4.1% in the previous month. It is the first time that the overall unemployment rate was in the 3% level since October 2008 - the first time in four years and eight months. Furthermore, the national ratio of jobs to applicants for June improved for the fourth consecutive month to 0.92. This kind of employment situation has been improving steadily, and I believe the momentum toward economic recovery prompted by Abenomics is beginning to have spillover effects also on employment.

The Government will continue to make every effort to advance the three arrows of Abenomics in an integrated manner, and realize a swift exit from deflation and private sector-driven sustainable economic growth.

REPORTER: I have a question regarding Osprey. I believe that the aircrafts will be offloaded in Iwakuni and will be flying again to Futenma in early August. The people of Okinawa, the Governor of Okinawa, and the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly have launched vigorous protests over this, saying that they have had enough. How does the Government feel about this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: It has been confirmed from a Ministry of Defense official who is on site, that a transport vessel carrying 12 Ospreys arrived in Air Station Iwakuni at around 1 am today. Also, it has been confirmed that after the transport vessel entered into port, the aircrafts were being offloaded.

We are aware that the concerns over the aircraft held by the local people, including the Okinawan people, have not been dispelled, and that there are also opinions out there that the agreement of the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee has not been adhered to. In any case, the Government will provide careful explanations regarding the agreement of the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee, among other matters, and carry out necessary consultations with the United States (U.S.) to ensure the appropriate implementation of the agreement.

Also, in accordance with this agreement, in order for the Government to conduct studies to be able to have the flight trainings carried out in places other than Okinawa, and thereby, obtain the understanding of the local people, the Government will offer explanations to the people.

REPORTER: According to some news reports, the Japanese version of the National Security Council (NSC) will be launched within this year ahead of schedule. Is there any truth to this? Or even if it is not true, what are your thoughts regarding the need for launching the NSC ahead of schedule?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The bill for this was submitted to the previous Diet session and is pending in the Diet. According to this bill, the National Security Bureau will be established on the date prescribed in the Cabinet Order within six months following the date of promulgation of the legislation. In any case, while we believe that a certain length of time is necessary for preparations following the promulgation of the legislation, security issues are mounting with Japan's security environment further increasing in severity. In this context, we would like to make efforts to be able to launch the National Security Bureau as quickly as possible.

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