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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday, January 28, 2013 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

  • An overview of the extraordinary Cabinet meeting
  • The Fiscal 2013 Economic Outlook and Basic Stance for Economic and Fiscal Management

First I will speak about the Cabinet meeting. I would like to give an overview of the extraordinary Cabinet meeting. As a general measure, the meeting approved the proposed Policy Speech by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the 183rd Session of Diet. The meeting also approved the Fiscal 2013 Economic Outlook and Basic Stance for Economic and Fiscal Management on which Minister Amari made a statement.

Today's Cabinet meeting approved the Fiscal 2013 Economic Outlook and Basic Stance for Economic and Fiscal Management. With regard to the fiscal 2013 Economic Outlook, while a gradual recovery of the global economy is expected, it is also anticipated that the implementation of initiatives outlined in the Basic Stance for Economic and Fiscal Management will create steady demand and employment opportunities, contributing to economic recovery. As a result, it is expected that Japan's growth rate for real GDP will be approximately 2.5%, while the nominal growth rate and rate of increase in consumer price index will be approximately 2.7% and 0.5% respectively. On the other hand, we must take heed of uncertainties in overseas economies such as the national debt issues in Europe, movements in foreign exchange rates and restrictions in electricity supply as potential risks. With regard to the Basic Stance for Economic and Fiscal Management, we are determined to break out of prolonged deflation and appreciation of the yen, and achieve an economic recovery that brings more jobs and higher income by implementing the three prongs of bold monetary policy, flexible fiscal policy and a growth strategy that encourages public investment with the ultimate goal of reviving the Japanese economy. For more details on this topic, please contact the officials responsible for economic and fiscal management of the Cabinet Office.


  • DPRK's moves toward conducting a nuclear test
  • Okinawa related issues
  • Japan-U.S. relations
  • The Nikkei Index
  • The convening of the ordinary Diet session

REPORTER: The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has been making moves toward conducting a third nuclear test, leading to heightened tensions. What sort of information does the Government have in its possession at the moment? Are there any signs of testing?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly the Japanese Government would like to strongly urge the DPRK Government to comply faithfully and fully comply with the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions and not to conduct any further provocative acts, including nuclear testing. Furthermore, through close coordination with relevant nations including the U.S., the Republic of Korea, China and Russia, we will continue to demand that the DPRK Government takes concrete steps toward fulfilling the United Nations Security Council Resolution and remaining fully compliant with the Joint Statement of the Six Party Talks. The Japanese Government has always held great concern for the the DPRK's moves for nuclear development and therefore has been striving to gather and analyze information. In light of this, I will refrain from sharing the details of the current situation due to the delicate nature of the situation. However I would like to state that the Japanese Government has always addressed this issue with deep consideration and concern.

REPORTER: I believe that the Japanese Government has been demanding the DPRK Government to refrain from conducting tests. However, if the situation escalates, am I right to understand that the Japanese Government's means of addressing the issue would be to convene a security council or an equivalent meeting?


REPORTER: Do you mean a meeting of the United Nations Security Council?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Yes, that is correct. We will make sure that we will keep you up to date with any new developments, but the Japanese Government gathers and analyses information pertaining to this issue to ensure that we always retain the capacity to address this North Korean issue.


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question regarding Okinawa. I believe that some of those who oppose Osprey deployment are currently visiting Tokyo. On the other hand, I understand that the Government has increased the budget for the economic promotion of Okinawa by 3billion yen, bringing the total budget to 300 billion yen, and shortened the construction time for the second runway at Naha Airport among other things. Could you share with us how the Government is planning to negotiate with Okinawa in the midst of this increasing opposition to Osprey deployment?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Approximately 75% of the military bases of Japan are located in Okinawa, and I appreciate that the people of Okinawa have many opinions on the topic. While we are determined to sincerely incorporate the opinions of the people in Okinawa, this issue of security assurance is an issue of national interest and therefore we approach this issue with that understanding.

REPORTER: It has been reported that the Prime Minister is planning to hold a Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting on February 21. Could you share with us the current status of scheduling arrangements?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: When the Minister for Foreign Affairs visited the U.S. earlier this month, it was established that the summit meeting would take place in the week of February 21. The Diet will only be reconvened starting today; therefore we are currently making arrangements to organize the meeting while considering the schedule and state of the Diet.

REPORTER: The Nikkei Index has climbed above 11,000 points for the first time in 33 months. Could you tell us how you view this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Obviously high stock prices are better than low stock prices and I see this change as a sign that many Japanese people have high hopes for the new economic measures. I believe that this is not limited to Japan, as foreign markets also seem to have high hopes for the Japanese economy. Therefore, toward the revitalization of the Japanese economy we would like to ensure the steady implementation of the Prime Minister's three-pronged strategy including by making use of the Diet deliberations to take place soon.

REPORTER: I understand that the ordinary Diet session will be convened and start today. I believe that the Abe Cabinet will start the 150-day ordinary Diet session with some of the agenda items including personnel decisions that require Diet approval and the main budget. Could you share with us once again with what attitude the Cabinet is planning to work through this Diet session?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are determined to not be evasive and to provide necessary explanations to the opposition parties in good faith, in order to gain their understanding for our way of thinking and to ensure that each bill is enacted without failure.

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