Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  April 2013 >  Monday, April 8, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday, April 8, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Consideration on the revision of the Constitution
  • Japan's response to the situation of North Korea
  • Monetary policy
  • The TPP
  • Japan-China relations

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question regarding the amendment of the Constitution. During your talk in Fukuoka yesterday, you stated that the proposed amendment to Article 96 of the Constitution would be a point of contention leading up to the House of Councillors election. Could you once again share with us your objectives?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: It is not an objective; rather the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) election pledges include a revision of the Constitution. This is in fact a founding principle of the party and in light of this I believe a revision of Article 96 would be the easiest for which to gain public understanding. Therefore we would like to start with this amendment while cooperating with other parties.


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question on a related topic. I understand that Article 96 stipulates the requirements of proposing constitutional change. What exactly are you planning to change after Article 96 has been revised?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First off, unless Article 96 is changed there is no further action to be taken. However, generally speaking, I believe that environmental rights, for instance, is one change which I believe is necessary. When the Constitution was drafted, environmental issues did not exist, but today the addition of environmental rights would only be natural. Although this is the Constitution, I believe that we need to make revisions so that it can be adapted to the needs of today.

REPORTER: I believe that the LDP's constitutional revision proposals include revising Article 9. What level of priority do you give to the revision of Article 9?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The LDP has made a number of proposals, but while we desire to remain in step with the principles of the current Constitution, we understand that without changing Article 96 we cannot move forward. We also understand that many citizens have increasingly voiced their willingness to participate in a referendum. Therefore we believe that a revision of article 96 should be the starting point.


REPORTER: I would like to once again inquire about North Korean developments. The Government of the Republic of Korea (ROK) pointed out during the interpellation session of its National Assembly that there are signs of a fourth North Korean nuclear test. Could you tell us if the Government is aware of this information and how the Government is planning to respond?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I stated during this morning's press conference, the Government is making every effort in gathering and analyzing information while remaining in close cooperation with the U.S. and the ROK. Regardless, the Government is taking all possible measures to ensure the lives and safety of citizens are protected in any contingency.

As for nuclear testing, both the Six-Party Talks and the United Nations Security Council resolutions have established that the testing is absolutely unacceptable and I therefore believe that North Korea should comply with the resolutions.

REPORTER: I understand that a number of journalists asked this question during this morning's press conference but I would like to ask another question regarding the ballistic missile destruction measures. The Japanese Government has repeatedly stated that it will take all possible measures to ensure the lives and safety of citizens are protected. I would like to ask why the ballistic missile destruction measures were issued yesterday. If you have any thoughts on the timing of the order, could you please share them with us?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Given the nature of the situation, I cannot make any comments in relation to your question. If I were to reveal the specifics of the Self-Defense Force's response, I would be revealing the defense strategy of Japan, and thus I cannot comment on such matters. Ultimately, the Japanese Government is taking all possible measures to ensure the lives and safety of citizens are protected.


REPORTER: Today the weakening of the yen and rising stock prices have accelerated and the yen is now almost 98 yen to 1 US dollar. Could you tell us how you view this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: From the outset, the Abe administration has always placed importance on breaking out of deflation in order to revitalize the Japanese economy. This is in a sense the first of the three prongs of economic revitalization.

In light of this, the Government, together with the Bank of Japan, was able to announce the price stability target at 2 percent. Following this, we were able to gain the approval of both the ruling and opposition parties to appoint a Governor and Deputy Governors who share the Government's vision to build a structure that can make the Prime Minister's vision a reality. As a result, under this new structure led by Governor Kuroda, quantitative and qualitative monetary easing plans were announced.

This has been well received by the market and today we are experiencing a weakening of the yen and rising stock prices. I believe that this is a result of the market reacting positively to the Bank of Japan's policies.

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Currently, of the 11 nations that are participating in negotiations, five countries have yet to express approval for Japan to join. Could you tell us what the Government is doing in relation to this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government is working diligently to gain the understanding of each country so that we will be ready for the negotiations in July. I believe that this has been proceeding smoothly and as planned.


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question regarding Japan-China relations. I believe that the Vice-President of LDP, Komura, is currently making arrangements to visit China to have talks with President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping. Could you tell us the Government's expectations for this meeting and if the Government has any intention of entrusting Mr. Komura with a letter on behalf of the Prime Minister?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, as for Mr. Komura's visit to China, nothing has been arranged as yet. The Government's basic stance is that the window of communication with China is always open.


Page Top

Related Link