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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, March 7, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The TPP


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). According to some news reports today, it has come to light that the nine countries which first joined the negotiations, including the United States, had imposed unfavorable terms to the two countries which were joining the negotiations late. I believe with regard to rulemaking, the original countries set forth that only they have the right to terminate the negotiations, or that they will not approve the renegotiation of the document agreed upon among the nine countries. The first question I would like to ask is whether you are aware of this. And if you are aware of this, what are your views regarding the anticipated restrictions on Japan's negotiation rights?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware of the big coverage that this has received. However, Japan has no knowledge of the exchanges between Mexico and Canada and the TPP negotiating countries, and I believe Japan is not in a position to comment. The Prime Minister will determine whether Japan will join the negotiations. We will pursue the path that best serves the national interests of Japan.

REPORTER: Even if the two countries had faced such unfavorable terms, are you saying that Japan has confidence to overcome them through negotiations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: No, we do not even know if that was actually the case, nor have we even decided whether to negotiate. The Prime Minister will determine whether or not Japan will join the negotiations based on the overall situation. In this process, the Prime Minister will pursue the path that best serves national interests. Our basic policy has not changed at all. 


REPORTER: Regarding the TPP, I believe that under your leadership, preliminary calculations are being compiled pertaining to Japan's participation in the negotiations. What is the status of the progress, and will the calculations be released?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: During the previous administration, each ministry and agency came out with its own separate preliminary calculations. I believe this should be avoided at all costs. We are now working hard to come out with a single set of calculations from the Cabinet Office. I believe these calculations will be revealed in the context of determining and announcing whether Japan will or will not join the negotiations.


REPORTER: Does this mean that you will come out with preliminary calculations that assume the elimination of all tariffs as a requirement?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any case, we will make preliminary calculations which are in line with the international standard.

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