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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, March 28, 2013 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Monetary policy
  • Consideration on ways to make the Prime Minister's Office more accessible to the public
  • The current situations of North Korea
  • The Northern Territories

REPORTER: On the front page of the Sankei Shimbun there is a report that the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is considering submitting a draft bill to revise the Bank of Japan Act. According to the report the revision aims to set in law a  process for agreeing on price stability targets in policy accords, but that the proposal to give the Cabinet the power to dismiss the governor of the Bank of Japan (BOJ) has been shelved. The report states that the LDP is aiming to submit this draft bill to the current session of the Diet. Does the Government share the same concept with regard to this matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government and the BOJ issued a Joint Statement as a result of a process that was agreed by all parties, including the governor and deputy governors of the BOJ. Both the Government and the BOJ are united in their aim to achieve a price stability target of 2 percent at the earliest possible time and ensure its stability. The Government has continually stated that a future option is to consider the revision of the Bank of Japan Act, but first of all, it is important that efforts are made to achieve the price stability target that was set out in the Joint Statement. As the governor indicated in his press conference, the BOJ will take responsibility for implementing bold monetary easing and therefore the Government is looking to such measures being implemented by the BOJ.


REPORTER: There are some press reports suggesting that Prime Minister Abe has instructed that consideration be given to opening the Prime Minister's Office to the public. What are the facts behind these reports?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Since his appointment, the Prime Minister has engaged in government administration based on his stated desire to respond to the expectations of the people of Japan, by being as accountable and transparent as possible. The Cabinet room has already been opened to the public on a previous occasion. From that perspective, I can confirm that the press reports are accurate, in that the Government is considering ways to make the Prime Minister's Office more accessible to the public.


REPORTER: North Korea has notified the Republic of Korea (ROK) that it will be breaking off lines of communication between the forces of North Korea and the ROK. Could you tell us what is the Government's analysis of this situation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I stated yesterday, North Korea is repeatedly making provocative statements. The Government wishes to strongly urge North Korea to refrain from any provocative actions. Furthermore, the ministries and agencies concerned are cooperating under the leadership of the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary for Crisis Management to collect intelligence concerning movements by North Korea. Every effort is being made to be constantly prepared.

REPORTER: I believe that the tense situation has escalated further, but what is the Government's view of the situation as it stands?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Given that North Korea has already conducted a missile launch and nuclear test, and in view of the fact that it is the Government's responsibility to protect the lives and ensure the safety of the people of Japan, there is no change to the Government's response of implementing thorough monitoring and surveillance measures.

REPORTER: It has been reported that the Government has decided to dispatch an engineering official from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Tourism and Transport (MLIT) to the Northern Territories for the first time. What are the facts behind these reports, and if they are true what is the aim of dispatching such an official?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Four Northern Territory Islands Non-Visa Exchange Program is currently in operation. It has always been the case that government officials, including MLIT officials, have accompanied people on visits to the islands under this framework, and there is no truth to the reports that special provision for a visit by an MLIT official has been made. These visits are part of an ongoing framework.


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