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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, June 5, 2014 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The Japan-China relationship
  • The reduction of the corporate tax rate
  • The inauguration ceremony for the President of Ukraine


REPORTER: I have a question regarding the Japan-China relationship. Today, during a meeting of the New Japan-China Friendship Committee for the 21st Century that was held in Nagasaki, Mr. Tang Jiaxuan, former State Councilor of China, stated that China-Japan relations are experiencing an unprecedented crisis. Mr. Tang Jiaxuan attributed this to the nationalization of the Senkaku Islands two years ago and to Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine. What is your reaction to this? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I perceived that this was yet another unilateral assertion by China. In any case, distinguished experts from both Japan and China are engaging in discussions at the meeting of the New Japan-China Friendship Committee for the 21st Century. The Government of Japan hopes that constructive discussions take place at the meeting for the further advancement and improvement of the bilateral relationship.  

REPORTER: I have a related question. With regard to the Senkaku issue, Mr. Tang Jiaxuan noted that China took necessary measures reluctantly in the aftermath of Japan’s nationalization of the islands. He criticized the Japanese Government, saying it was irresponsible for the Japanese Government to refer to China’s past acts in the East China Sea as attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion. What is your opinion in this regard?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: It is Japan that cannot accept China’s assertions. It is a clear fact that the Senkaku Islands are indeed an inherent part of the territory of Japan, in light of historical facts and based upon international law.


REPORTER: I understand that during today’s consultative meeting of the ruling parties on the tax system, the ruling parties agreed to reduce the effective corporate tax rate. While I have asked about the corporation tax a number of times before, could you please once again share your views with us? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In the campaign pledge, the Liberal Democratic Party pledged to implement a tax system that would make Japan  internationally competitive, and to this end, create a facilitating environment. However, looking at the overall situation, this has not yet been realized. The Government has announced that the corporate tax rate would be reduced, as the Prime Minister stated in Davos in January of this year. Therefore, we are requesting the parties for their understanding.

REPORTER: I have another question. I presume that matters are proceeding towards a reduction from next fiscal year. In your view, to what extent will the corporate tax rate be decreased? Will it be reduced to 20-30%?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We will coordinate this matter, including such details, with the ruling parties in order to specify them in the Basic Policies for Economic and Fiscal Management and Reform.

REPORTER: Are you viewing that it is preferable to include the scope of the reduction in the Basic Policies?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: All I can say is we are about to proceed with this work in coordination with the parties.

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question regarding the inauguration ceremony for the President-elect of Ukraine. It is reported that Mr. Takao Makino, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, will be dispatched to the inauguration ceremony for President-elect Petro Poroshenko. Is this true?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, we consider the establishment of the new administration that was selected by the recent election as a momentous step towards the revitalization of Ukraine. The Government of Japan received an invitation from the Government of Ukraine to the inauguration ceremony. We intend to have a representative of the Japanese Government attend the inauguration ceremony. As to who will attend, however, the final arrangements are now being made.


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