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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER: An official announcement was made concerning the operational merger between the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Osaka Securities Exchange. What is the Government's reaction to this? Also, what impact will this merger have on efforts to realize an Integrated Exchange Handling Securities, Financing and Commodities as laid out in the New Growth Strategy? Please also explain what kind of time frame the Government intends to advance legislation and other aspects in working towards realizing an integrated exchange.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: With the objective of boosting convenience for traders and investors and strengthening global competitiveness, the Tokyo Stock Exchange Group and Osaka Securities Exchange have announced that they will merge their operations starting January 1, 2013. I believe that it is important to strengthen the competitiveness of Japan's financial market as a whole by boosting its presence as an international financial center. As such, I evaluate this merger as a development that is in line with this objective. I have been told that it will become the second largest market in the world, and that the new Japan Stock Exchange - I believe that is what it is being called - will be integrating all non-security related exchanges in the future, and that is why the word "securities" has been left out of the title. Moving forward I anticipate that the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Osaka Securities Exchange will carry out considerations in a speedy manner in aim of realizing an Asia's biggest market, while making further efforts to improve convenience for its users.

REPORTER: In this morning's House of Representatives Committee on Financial Affairs, Prime Minister Noda expressed his intention to submit a bill to amend the Act on Special Accounts. What details are specifically being considered for amendment and when do you intend to submit the bill?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: This is the result of past discussion on revising the special accounts. Even in last year's review of government programs this was brought up at several points. Also, while the number of special accounts has been reduced from 31 to the current 17, it is being pointed out that there are still leftover accounts, including those that may be unnecessary. Preparations are currently being made to submit a bill in the ordinary session of the Diet next year that would amend the Act on Special Accounts in light of the various discussion taking place on which accounts to keep and which to combine. I believe that is what the Prime Minister was referring to.


REPORTER: This question is concerning the realignment of the United States Forces in Japan. In Kagoshima Prefecture there is an uninhabited island called Mage Island and the Ministry of Defense (MOD) is planning to transfer exercises conducted by the United States military there. Yesterday, the Kagoshima Prefecture Governor visited the Minister of Defense where he presented a statement declaring the prefecture's opposition and unwillingness to comply with the transfer. Meanwhile, this morning the Minister of Defense commented to the effect that he wants to include  costs for some type of surveying and land use compensation in next year's budget. It appears that Kagoshima Prefecture is against this transfer but that the Government intends to move forward, as this is included in a document of the Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee (2+2). What are your thoughts on this discord?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Yesterday, Kagoshima Prefecture Governor Yuichiro Ito and Head of the Prefectural Assembly Masuo Kaneko, visited the MOD where they appealed that, considering the current circumstances, it would be extremely difficult to acquire local understanding and as such they requested that the Government conduct a sufficient assessment of the situation and not transfer the field-carrier landing practice (FCLP) facility to Mage Island. In realizing this transfer, Minister of Defense Yasuo Ichikawa emphasized that acquiring local understanding and cooperation was of course important and, as he could not reply to the request at the current stage, that the MOD would move forward while continuing to explain their intentions. The Government must exert efforts to acquire the understanding of local residents concerning our intentions while continuing to listen to the local opinion. For further details please forward your inquiries to the Minister of Defense or MOD.


REPORTER: I have asked about this in the past, but the policy review is being carried out and today the Prime Minister has left for observing the process. Please again tell us how the Government intends to incorporate and utilize the results of the review.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Today is the third day and this afternoon public works projects and social security were the topics of discussion. I have been told that the Prime Minister departed the Prime Minister's Office a little after 3:00pm and is currently observing the process. Furthermore, it appears that reviews are to conclude tomorrow, November 23rd. This review is being carried out in light of the necessity to carefully examine not only government programs, but also the policies and systems that back those programs, in consideration of Japan's stern fiscal situation and other circumstances. This is also intended to be a proposal-based policy review conducted in a public forum where the public can participate in considerations from an external perspective. For this proposal-based policy review it will be necessary for the Government to take responsibility in paying concrete considerations to the ideas of the public in response to the final report of the Government Revitalization Unit, which is headed by the Prime Minister, as the Cabinet believes that this report bears significant weight and that it is the result of discussions carried out under the scrutiny of the public.


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