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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, November 21, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

  • Safety of Japanese nationals in Typhoon damage in the central part of Philippines

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to make a statement first. The safety of two additional Japanese nationals in the Philippines has been confirmed, leaving five people unaccounted.


  • The issue related to food mislabeling
  • The issue related to the Government Pension Investment Fund
  • The U.S. President's visit to Japan
  • The issue related to nuclear cooperation with Turkey

REPORTER: Earlier today, Hajime Funada, Chairman of the Research Commission on Consumer Issues of the Liberal Democratic Party, visited the Prime Minister's Office. Could you share with us what was discussed at the meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Chairman Funada gave us the party's urgent recommendations on the issue of food mislabeling. The recommendations called for the monitoring of labeling and strengthening of guidance system. The recommendations also called for the establishment of new regulations for the industry based on the guidelines of the Act against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations, which is currently under discussion.

We believe that it is necessary for the Government to thoroughly address this issue. I informed the Chairman that I have instructed attendees of the meeting of the ministries and agencies concerned with this food mislabeling issue to ensure appropriate food labeling and the formulation of the guidelines of the Act against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations.

We agreed that the party and the Government will work as one to thoroughly address this issue.

(abridged) We are taking this issue very seriously and we will take various measures against vendors that have engaged in particularly malicious acts of food mislabeling. The Chairman also asked that prefectural governments be granted the right to investigate cases of food mislabeling. This will need to be submitted as a draft bill during next year's ordinary Diet session.


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question concerning the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), a topic that was also raised at this morning's press conference. The stock market just closed for the day with the Nikkei Stock Average moving up by 300 yen, reaching over 15,300. I believe that this can be largely attributed to the prospective revision of the management of the public pension system, on which a final report was released yesterday. What are your thoughts on this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I believe I should not comment on the cause of gains in the stock market, but the fact is that other countries, including the U.S., are seeing high stock prices.

It is important for Japan to steadily roll out the three prongs of Abenomics and ensure that they are implemented.

REPORTER: Although this may not be a part of the three prongs of Abenomics, do you think that the GPIF reforms will be one of the factors in advancing Abenomics?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Our economic policies include the revitalization of the market and it is my belief that it is important to take all possible measures or countermeasures as we face issues in order to truly revitalize Japan's economy.

REPORTER: I would like to confirm something that was discussed during this morning's press conference. Am I right to understand that President Obama is not yet scheduled to visit Japan in April?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Yes. As I said earlier, during the September Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting, Prime Minister Abe invited President Obama to visit Japan. The President said that he would definitely like to make arrangements for that to happen. In light of this, the foreign diplomatic authorities of Japan and the U.S. have been in communication, but as of yet nothing has been confirmed.

REPORTER: I have another question on the same topic. Am I right to understand that the potential visit to Japan has been in planning since the September Summit Meeting, so the recent announcement was unrelated?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Japan and the U.S. have been in communication concerning a visit, but I must refrain from informing the details due to the nature of the topic. I can however confirm that as of now, nothing has been decided.

REPORTER: A Turkish Government official made comments in relation to the nuclear plant in Turkey that will be constructed by a Japanese-French corporate consortium, saying that he trusts Japan's nuclear power technology and that he has high expectations. Could you share with us your thoughts on these comments?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: During the Prime Minister's recent trip to Turkey, the Turkish government and private corporations led by Japanese companies reached a commercial agreement for the Sinop Nuclear Power Plant. Regarding nuclear cooperation with Turkey, Japan will provide as much support as possible to Turkey at their request by, for instance, improving systems and personnel development, in order to realize the construction of the safest possible nuclear power plant in Turkey.

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