Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  May 2012 >  Thursday, May 17, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, May 17, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Preliminary GDP figures for fiscal 2011
  • The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement
  • The New York District Court's order to the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ to freeze the assets of the Iranian government and central bank

REPORTER: Preliminary GDP figures have been released this morning which show that for fiscal 2011 the economy grew 0.0 percent in real terms and shrank 1.9 percent in nominal terms. What is the Government's reaction to these figures, particularly given the fact that fiscal 2011 was the first year of the Democratic Party of Japan's growth strategy plan to raise nominal GDP to 3 percent and real GDP to 2 percent by 2020?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The figures for the real GDP growth rate for the period from January to March show that on an annualized basis the economy grew 4.1%, marking a consecutive positive growth rate during the three quarters. This increase in the three consecutive quarters has been driven by an upturn in personal consumption, such as the effect of the subsidies for eco-friendly automobiles, the progress in government and public investment in relation to post-earthquake and tsunami reconstruction activities, and a recovery in exports, reflecting the impact of the floods in Thailand last autumn and the recovery in the United States economy. Although based on this situation it is expected that the Japanese economy will continue to move on an upward track, it will be necessary to remain vigilant about risk factors, such as the rekindling of the European government debt crisis. With regard to a judgment on the current condition of the Japanese economy, I would like to refer to this tomorrow, after the monthly economic report for May has been considered in the Ministerial Council on Monthly Economic Report and Other Relative Issues that is scheduled to be held tomorrow. With regard to the growth strategy, the objective is to achieve average annual nominal GDP growth of 3 percent and real GDP growth of 2 percent. The current plan includes various mechanisms towards achieving this target, including green innovation, life innovation and the smooth provision of growth money, as well as measures to promote the active participation of women in the economy. These measures will be formulated during the course of this year and incorporated into the Strategy for the Rebirth of Japan, which will then be steadily implemented by both the public and private sectors, with a view to making efforts to achieve the stated objective by 2020.


REPORTER: With regard to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, it now seems likely that the nine-country expanded negotiations will fail to reach a conclusion by the end of the year. With this, there are those who consider that Japan still has some leeway to be able to contribute more towards the formation of an agreement. What is the Government's view concerning the likelihood that an agreement will be postponed?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I am aware of press reports on this issue, although I do not have detailed information about the content. As I have stated on previous occasions, Japan is advancing consultations with the countries concerned toward participating in the TPP negotiations, given the fact that Japan should take a leading role through high-level economic cooperation in the creation of rules pertaining to free trade and investment. Japan will continue to make further efforts to both gather and provide information, and there is no change to the Government's stance that, through sufficient national debate, it seeks to reach a conclusion on the TPP faithfully from the view point of our national interests.

REPORTER: The New York District Court has instructed the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ to freeze the assets of the Iranian government and central bank, creating concerns that this could have an impact on crude oil transactions. What response measures does the Government intend to take with regard to this matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I have heard that the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ has received an order from the New York District Court. The details of this matter pertain to the affairs of a single financial institution and therefore I would like to refrain from commenting on that content. The Government must respond appropriately with regard to transactions with Iran, in such a way that would not negatively impact upon the stable supply of crude oil and justifiable trade transactions. Therefore, although I will refrain from commenting on individual cases, suffice it to say that the Government seeks to make a concerted and appropriate response.


Page Top

Related Link