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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

November 10, 2016 (PM)

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 Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Q&As

REPORTER: At the moment a motion of no-confidence in the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is being debated and voted on in the plenary session of the House of Representatives. The opposition parties are calling for the minister’s resignation, so can I ask for your views on this matter?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NOGAMI: With regard to the motion of no-confidence you referred to, I am aware that debate opposing the motion of no-confidence is currently taking place. The reasons for opposing the motion are varied, and include the fact that Minister Yamamoto has expressed deep remorse, withdrawing the series of comments he made and offering a sincere apology. Also, Minister Yamamoto has to date demonstrated a strong sense of duty and exerted dynamic leadership over Japan’s agriculture, forestry and fisheries administration. Furthermore, one of the top priorities for the Government is to achieve the early entry into force of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, and the approval of the TPP and related bills that are currently being deliberated in the Diet will be a vital means of vitalizing the Japanese economy as a whole. Minister Yamamoto has himself stated that he wishes to continue performing his duties to the full with devotion and diligence. The Government also believes that the minister should continue to fulfil his responsibilities with a sense of urgency.

REPORTER: I have a related question. After the approval of the TPP and related bills by the House of Representatives, deliberation will move to the House of Councillors. Can I ask what kind of deliberations the Government is expecting in the House of Councillors, when it is expected that they will begin, and when the Government expects the TPP and related bills to be passed?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NOGAMI: The outlook for deliberations in the Diet is a matter for the Diet itself to decide and I would like to refrain from making any comment. Seeking to ensure productive deliberations, the Government will continue to provide explanations with a sense of urgency.

REPORTER: The TPP is set to be approved in the plenary session of the House of Representatives today and it is expected that it will subsequently be approved by the House of Councillors. However, President-elect Trump has stated that the United States will withdraw from the TPP. By demonstrating a stance of pushing ahead with procedures to approve the TPP in Japan, is the Government hoping to encourage the United States to go forward with its original policy?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NOGAMI: I would like to refrain from making any comment about the outlook for domestic procedures in another country. At the TPP leaders’ meeting last November, the leaders of 12 countries, including the United States, agreed to aim for the agreement’s early entry into force. It is the Government’s understanding that incumbent President Obama is taking steps to have the TPP agreement passed by Congress by the end of the year. Japan expects that all countries including the United States will carry out responsible efforts to gain domestic support and undertake the relevant procedures, as was agreed upon among TPP members.

REPORTER: As of this morning arrangements were being made for a meeting between Prime Minister Abe and President-elect Trump on November 17. What is the current status of arrangements?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NOGAMI: The current situation is that arrangements are being made for Prime Minister Abe and President-elect Trump to meet, if possible, in New York on November 17, prior to the Prime Minister’s attendance at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting. However, the details of the meeting are still being coordinated.

REPORTER: I have a further question relating to the U.S. presidential election. With regard to the expenses associated with the stationing of the U.S. Forces in Japan, Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga has previously stated that the balance of costs borne by the United States and Japan is appropriate. Is there no particular change to this stance?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NOGAMI: What you are referring to is something that relates to the policies of the Trump administration that will not be inaugurated until next year. I would therefore like to refrain from making any speculative comments. The Japan-U.S. Alliance forms the bedrock of Japanese diplomacy, and Japan will work closely with the Trump administration for the peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific and the world.

REPORTER: I think it was back in April or May when the Chief Cabinet Secretary stated that the balance of costs was appropriate, so is there still no change to this stance?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NOGAMI: Japan’s position is as it was described by the Chief Cabinet Secretary.

REPORTER: I have a further question. When explaining in concrete terms the basis for Japan’s stance on this issue, what points will the Government make? I believe they could include the fact that defense spending has been maintained since the start of the Abe administration, the degree to which expenses are used, and what support is provided to Okinawa.

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NOGAMI: As your question relates to a matter about the yet-to-be inaugurated Trump administration, I would like to refrain from making any speculative comments at this time.

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