Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  January 2013 >  Wednesday, January 30, 2013 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, January 30, 2013 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • File of complaint by female judo wrestlers with the Japanese Olympic Committee
  • The TPP
  • The personnel decision in relation to the Bank of Japan Governor

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question regarding the judo incident. It has been revealed that 15 female judo wrestlers who competed in the London Olympics filed a complaint with the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) saying that they were physically abused by Ryuji Sonoda, the head coach of the Japanese judo team, and others. Could you tell us how you view this and, given that the JOC reports to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), could you tell us how the Government is going to address this issue?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware of this news report. I have been informed that MEXT is currently investigating the details of the incident with JOC officials. I believe MEXT will of course make an appropriate decision based on the facts. They are currently in the process of confirming the details.

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Yesterday, or last night, Prime Minister Abe appeared on a Nippon TV program during which he stated that he would like to establish a policy regarding the TPP prior to the House of Councillors election. Is it a Government policy to establish a TPP policy before the House of Councillors election or even before the Prime Minister's visit to the U.S? I believe that the Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) public pledge stated that Japan will not enter the TPP negotiations so long as no areas are considered to be off-limits. Am I right to understand that there will be some changes to the Government's approach to the TPP?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware that the Prime Minister made this comment on a TV program yesterday. However, if you listen to the comment closely I believe that the comment made by the Prime Minister is in line with the public pledge made by the LDP, which stated that we oppose joining the TPP negotiations as long as a precondition is the abolition of all customs tariffs without any exception. The Prime Minister said this before making the comment in question and it appears that only the latter part has been quoted and reported. The Prime Minister made reference to the LDP public pledge and I understand that the Government's stance has not changed at all. At the same time, as I have stated here on a number of occasions, the Government will take a closer look into the details of negotiations that have taken place previously. Participating in the TPP will have broad implications for Japan; therefore the Government will choose a path that serves national interests after investigating and analyzing the potential effects. I believe that this approach remains unchanged from what was initially pledged.


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question regarding the personnel decision in relation to the Bank of Japan Governor that requires Diet approval. Could you tell us if you personally believe that the submission should be made only after communicating with the ruling parties? Could you also tell us the timing being considered for submission to Diet?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: It is an extremely important issue. Firstly, as the Prime Minister has also stated, I believe that it has to be someone who shares an understanding of the Prime Minister's policies. At the same time, I understand that during the previous LDP administration, we were not able to gain approval from some members; therefore we are currently working diligently to develop measures so as to ensure that we are successful in gaining approval.


REPORTER: I would like to return to the topic of TPP. It has been reported that the Government has decided to seek approval from the U.S. Government to allow exceptions for the abolition of customs tariffs at the Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting in February. Could you tell us if these reports are accurate? Furthermore, I understand that the previous administration developed and approved, by Cabinet decision, the Basic Policy on Comprehensive Economic Partnerships, which established the direction of economic partnerships, including the TPP. Is the Abe Cabinet going to adhere to this Basic Policy, or will it be reviewed where necessary? Could you tell us your views on this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, it is not true that Japan is seeking such approval. Nor will we follow decisions made by the previous cabinet without review.


Page Top

Related Link