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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, September 26, 2012 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Japanese domestic politics (the election of the new president of the Liberal Democratic Party)

REPORTER: Mr. Shinzo Abe has been elected as the new president of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Can I ask for your reaction to the election of new President Abe?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The presidential election for the LDP, the largest opposition party, has taken place and former Prime Minister Abe has been elected once again to the presidency of the party. First of all I would like to congratulate him on his election. Also, with regard to the three-party agreement, during the presidential election campaign, Mr. Abe and all the other candidates expressed the view that they would honor the agreement. As the bills for comprehensive reform of the social security and taxation systems, which is an essential issue that must be tackled, have been passed by the Diet, Prime Minister Noda said he would call for a further meeting of the three party leaders and I hope that the leaders will respond to this call and that further progress can be made.

REPORTER: There has been talk of seeking a meeting between the three party leaders, however, it is expected that the Cabinet reshuffle will take place early next week. Given the anticipated Cabinet reshuffle, what is the view of the administration as a whole with regard to the schedule for three-party talks?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Both the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and the LDP, which elected a new president today, are both in the process of organizing their internal party structures. I believe that Prime Minister Noda will monitor the situation regarding these internal moves and then call on the party leaders in his capacity as president of the DPJ, but I do not believe he will be doing so immediately. I anticipate that moves towards three-party talks will take place once the respective party structures are properly in place.


REPORTER: On a related note, under the three-party agreement it is stipulated that talks will take place on the establishment of a national council. However, during the LDP presidential election campaign Mr. Abe indicated that such a council would be established after the dissolution of the Diet. Do you believe this stance will have an impact on the Government's plans to establish a national council and what approaches to new President Abe will be made in this regard?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I am aware of the statement made by President Abe. However, it is not for us to talk as we please about the timing of an election and whether the establishment of a national council would come before or after an election. On the other hand, the bills relating to the comprehensive reform have been passed by the Diet. Following the effectuation of the bills on August 23, there is a one-year deadline in place to establish a national council on social security. The Government's stance is to engage in deliberations with a view to establishing the council as soon as possible.

REPORTER: On a related note, President Abe stated during the presidential election campaign that he "cannot accept unconditionally" the bill on special measures for government bonds. It seems unlikely that the Government and the LDP can find common ground on this issue, so how do you intend to seek out such common ground?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Basically, I believe that there is common ground. In both the ruling and opposition parties, no-one holds the view that there is no need to issue special government bonds, which account for more than 30 percent of government income. Therefore we share the recognition that the issuance of these bonds is necessary. It will therefore be necessary to engage in discussions among the various parties and be sure to come to a conclusion, as this is an issue that is time sensitive, and we must act to ensure that government spending does not come to a halt.


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