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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

November 24, 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 Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Q&As

REPORTER: I have a question concerning the reform of ZEN-NOH (National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations). A recommendation issued by the working group of the Regulatory Reform Promotion Council has requested that various reforms be implemented within one year, including the abolition of commission-based sales of agricultural products. In response, yesterday the executive council meeting of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Diet members concerned with agricultural and forestry affairs agreed to eliminate the one-year deadline and request that ZEN-NOH formulate an annual plan. How does the Government view these moves, given that it is the aim of the administration to advance agricultural reform?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, based on the stipulations of the amended Agricultural Cooperatives Act that entered into force in April this year, independent reforms are set to be advanced during a five-year intensive reform promotion period. With regard to the Regulatory Reform Promotion Council, I am aware that since the submission of the report in June 2014, from the perspective of engaging in discussions and making recommendations on agricultural reform, the council has engaged in follow-up concerning the current status of reforms and the council’s working group on agriculture has set out a direction for the independent reforms that agricultural cooperatives are anticipated to implement. At the same time, the Agriculture and Forestry Division of the LDP has engaged in discussions on production materials and distribution reforms with a view to compiling a report by the autumn on the ideal form for ZEN-NOH, an organization that fulfils a major role. At the current point, I have not heard whether such a report has been finalized. However, the discussions that are taking place within the LDP are said to follow the same basic direction as the reforms being discussed by the Regulatory Reform Promotion Council and therefore the Government believes that reform will be advanced steadily.

REPORTER: I have a related question. Although the report from the LDP has yet to be finalized, if it is the case that the one-year deadline for implementation of reforms is not necessarily binding, does the Government consider that there will be sufficient incentive for ZEN-NOH to engage in independent reform measures?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, regardless of whether or not a deadline is stipulated, the amended Agricultural Cooperatives Act that I mentioned before stipulates a five-year intensive reform promotion period for independent reforms, based on the results of which the necessary systemic reforms to agricultural cooperatives will be implemented. I believe that the discussions that are taking place within the LDP are in line with the direction of reforms being discussed by the Regulatory Reform Promotion Council and reforms will be duly implemented.

(Abridged)

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