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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

October 4, 2016 (AM)

If you can not view the video,click here(Japanese Government Internet TV)
This video's audio is a provisional translation through live simultaneous interpretation.

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

1. Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

(Abridged)

I would like to give an overview of the Cabinet meeting. The meeting approved 18 personnel items, including general items. With regard to statements by ministers, the Minister of Health, Labour, and Welfare made a statement on the Health, Labour and Welfare White Paper 2016, the Minister for Foreign Affairs made a statement on “emergency grant cooperation for returnees in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology made a statement on the “award of a Nobel Prize to a Japanese national,” and the Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy made a statement on the “award of a Nobel prize to a Japanese researcher.”

I am very pleased that Honorary Professor Yoshinori Ohsumi received this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine yesterday. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called Professor Ohsumi directly to offer his congratulations. This award recognized Professor Ohsumi’s contribution to the advancement of physiology by gaining an understanding of the most basic framework supporting the biological activity of living beings, and I believe it is a revolutionary research success that is likely to help in developing medical treatments for cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and other ailments. This is third straight year for a Japanese national to win a Nobel Prize, and Japan has 16 Nobel Prize recipients in the three natural science fields thus far in the 21st century, ranking second globally after the United States. I think these awards demonstrate global acknowledgement of the high level of Japan’s scientific research, and the Government intends to further strengthen initiatives for sustainable innovation, including R&D investments and human resource cultivation, in a wide range of science and technology fields that should become future sources of growth potential.

Q&As

REPORTER: This question is related to the Nobel Prize awarded to Professor Ohsumi that you just mentioned. You highlighted about the importance of basic research in light of the award. As you were just explaining, where specifically does the Japanese Government plan to give its support to scientific research?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Following this Nobel Prize granted to Professor Ohsumi, I think it is important to strengthen Japan’s research capabilities and human resources as a country in order to cultivate the seed of this innovation that can be a source of growth opportunity. In the Fifth Science and Technology Basic Plan, Japan aims to become the country that is best suited for innovation in the world. In light of this award, Japan plans to promote science, technology, and innovation policy even more robustly with the Council for Science, Technology and Innovation as a command center and through close collaboration with related ministries and agencies.

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