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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

  • The Prime Minister's plan to visit Osaka and Hyogo Prefectures

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Regarding the itinerary of the Prime Minister, on the day after tomorrow, Friday, January 11, Prime Minister Abe is scheduled to visit Osaka and Hyogo Prefectures. Specifically, he will visit the facility of the next-generation supercomputer "K computer" and an advanced regenerative medical facility in Kobe City and see firsthand the advanced sciences and technologies of Japan, as well as exchange views with President Noyori of RIKEN (the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research), Professor Yamanaka of Kyoto University, and others. The Prime Minister will also visit small and medium manufacturing companies in Amagasaki City and observe the situation of the efforts being made by companies which, despite the small size of their factories, possess advanced manufacturing skills and have a leading market share even within Japan. Furthermore, the Prime Minister will meet with the Governor of Osaka Prefecture and the Mayor of Osaka City and exchange views on the economic situation of the region.


  • The Prime Minister's plan to meet Mayor of Osaka City Toru Hashimoto
  • Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishida's visit to ASEAN member states
  • The nation's infrastructure resilience plan
  • The Takeshima issue

REPORTER: When Prime Minister Abe visits Osaka on the 11th, I believe he will be meeting with Acting President Toru Hashimoto of the Japan Restoration Party (JRP). Do you anticipate that the Prime Minister will ask for JRP's cooperation on Diet deliberations or the revision of the Constitution or other such matters?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: It is rather that the Prime Minister always meets with the Governor or the Mayor of the area which he is visiting. I believe the Prime Minister will be listening to explanations of the economic situation of the region, etc. In the afternoon, the Prime Minister will also visit Kobe City. There too, the Prime Minister will be accompanied by the Governor of Hyogo Prefecture and the Mayor of Kobe City. When the Prime Minister visited Fukushima, he was likewise accompanied by the Governor of the prefecture. Therefore, I believe the meetings are being conducted along these lines.


REPORTER: Today, Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishida left Japan to visit several countries, including the Philippines and Singapore. I believe this is indicative of the administration's attachment of importance to the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) member states. Can you please describe the aim of his visit?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: ASEAN is indeed an extremely vital region to Japan. As this is the first overseas visit being made by Mr. Kishida since his appointment as the Minister for Foreign Affairs, I believe this visit signifies the importance that Japan attaches to this region and we would be grateful if it is understood that we, the Cabinet, attach importance to this region.


REPORTER: How do you view the political skills of JRP Acting President Hashimoto? How do you evaluate or view Mr. Hashimoto as a politician?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I believe Mr. Hashimoto's communication skills - his ability to draw so much media attention while serving as Governor - make him an extremely highly-skilled politician.

REPORTER: In terms of policy, in what areas do you think there may be room for partnership or cooperation between JRP and the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP) in the future?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I believe we can work on a per policy basis regarding the issues we have raised, including the revision of the Constitution and the regional government system (doshu-sei). I believe we can move forward by obtaining understanding. As we do not have a majority in the House of Councillors, we would like to work together with the respective opposition parties on a per policy or piecemeal basis for those policies on which we can obtain the support of the opposition parties.

REPORTER: I understand that a short while ago Chairman of the National Public Safety Commission Furuya met with you and discussed the matter of making the nation's infrastructure more resilient. Can you describe the specific discussion which took place to the extent that you can disclose the information?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Actually, because the Cabinet Office is the secretariat, we discussed that the secretariat system should be made robust to thoroughly deal with disaster mitigation and prevention.

REPORTER: Did you two discuss anything with regard to the nation's infrastructure resilience plan?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As its vision more than its content has been decided and as this matter has also been incorporated into the industry growth areas of the Headquarters for Japan's Economic Revitalization, we talked about these matters.

REPORTER: Regarding the independent institution of proceedings before the International Court of Justice over Takeshima, some have reported that Japan has decided to hold off on this action for the time being. Can you verify the facts?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, I am not aware of the facts. Regarding the Takeshima issue, considerations and preparations are being made with the intent of resolving the dispute in a calm and peaceful manner based on law. We intend to take appropriate actions, holistically judging the various situations.

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