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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

October 27, 2017 (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

(Abridged)

REPORTER: The retained earnings of Japanese companies have reached the highest level ever, amounting to approximately 406 trillion yen. As part of their campaign platform for the House of Representatives, some political parties proposed a policy of taxing companies on retained earnings. What policies is the Government considering in order to ensure that retained earnings are channeled into wages for employees?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, as I have just noted, the Government intends to mobilize various policies including budget, tax, and regulatory reforms in order to steer record high corporate earnings into wage growth and capital investment. The Government will work as one to develop an environment to do this and reflect these policies in the new economic policy package to be created at the end of this year. All ministers concerned will respond accordingly with regard to such measures. In any event, since the start of the Abe administration, corporate earnings have increased to above 100 trillion yen. It is in that sense that the Government will be making what could be termed a societal request to companies to raise wages to the greatest extent possible.

REPORTER: In the meeting of the Council for Designing 100-Year Life Society, the Prime Minister has issued a request for the business community to bear a 300-billion-yen financial burden to be used to reduce the number of children on childcare waiting lists to zero. What is the aim of this request?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In today’s meeting of the Council for Designing 100-Year Life Society, the Prime Minister announced that the Government will compile bold policies that amount to 2 trillion yen by the end of the year. He stated that as sources of financing for these policies he would like to advance concrete considerations on how to request a contribution of around 300 billion yen from the business community. A revolution in human resources development will help to increase the number of available workers, which will be of merit to industry and business. To date it has also been the case that the Government has requested companies to bear a share of the burden for financing social security. In any event, discussions with industry and business will take place from now and we will seek to advance discussions so that we can come to an agreement at an early juncture.

REPORTER: The Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) is positive about this proposal, but it may be the case that amendments to legislation would be needed to implement it. What challenges do you see ahead for this new policy, including with regard to formulating systems and structures?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have just noted, we will begin discussions with the business community from now and will seek to advance discussions with a view to reaching agreement at an early juncture. If such legislative measures are deemed to be necessary, we will  work on them.

REPORTER: A contribution of 300 billion yen would place a considerable burden on companies. Is this policy proposal designed with the utilization of retained corporate earnings in mind, as was noted in an earlier question?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have already noted, a human resources development revolution will help to increase the number of available workers, which will be of merit to companies. Under the policies of Abenomics to date, corporate retained earnings have increased to above 100 trillion yen. Until now we have requested companies to bear a certain burden for social security policies, and in the same way we would like to request a contribution in the future, including this proposed policy.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I have a question about security. Currently three U.S. aircraft carriers, the USS Nimitz, USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Ronald Reagan, are on deployment in the Western Pacific. Prior to the election, Prime Minister Abe noted that this election was one to “overcome national crisis,” so is it the Government’s view that such a “national crisis” is looming?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to refrain from responding on this matter on behalf of the Government. However, what I would say is that we have a comprehensive surveillance and response structure in place to protect the lives and peaceful daily lives of the people of Japan in any situation. This structure is in place 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

(Abridged)
 

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