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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, April 25, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Four months since the inauguration of the current administration
  • Loan applications by the Kagoshima-based religious organization
  • The Japan-Taiwan fisheries agreement


REPORTER: It has been almost four months since the inauguration of the current administration. I believe that there has been a number of challenges during this period, for example the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the issues in Okinawa and risk management challenges. Looking back on the past four months, could you share your thoughts with us?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Not so long ago, the administration marked its 100th day in office and now before we know it, we are approaching the four month mark. From the very beginning we set goals for each challenge and the Cabinet and ruling party led by the Prime Minister have made every effort to achieve these goals. Driven by this determination we have continually worked single-mindedly through to today. Consequently we have had strong public support in excess of 70%, but looking back we have also faced a number of challenges. However, we have addressed each of those challenges in a sincere manner without becoming complacent or hesitating in order to meet the expectations of the nation. It is for these reasons that we have been working tirelessly for the last four months. Looking back on our experiences over the last four months, though it has only been four months, there have been numerous unexpected happenings and we have faced many difficult challenges but I believe this is all part of being in Government. In the midst of such circumstances it is my genuine hope that we are able to do our very best in order to meet the expectations of the public.

REPORTER: The Kagoshima-based religious organization that won the auction for the land and buildings of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan head office had their loan applications rejected by a number of financial institutions. "Pressure from the authorities" was cited as the reason for the unsuccessful loan applications. Could you tell us if this was really the case?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Well, I did read the newspaper report this morning, which suggested that the granting of the loan is expected to be difficult, however I personally believe, from a common sense standpoint, that something like this could not possibly happen in today's Japan.

REPORTER: I believe that Governor Nakaima of Okinawa Prefecture will be visiting you at the Prime Minister's Office sometime later today. Could you share with us in what areas the Government will seek the understanding of Okinawa in relation to the fisheries agreement between Japan and Taiwan?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Fishing rights negotiations between Japan and Taiwan commenced well before the inauguration of the Abe administration. In fact I believe that the Japan-Taiwan fishing rights have been in negotiation for 17 years. Recently we were able to come to a conclusion and enter into a new agreement thanks to the cooperation of many individuals. I understand that the fishing community of Okinawa has concerns for the progress and the result of this matter, and I believe this is why the Governor is visiting me today. Therefore I will first hear the thoughts of the Okinawan fishing community as well as discussing future initiatives. We have already sent the Director General of the Fisheries Agency to Okinawa in order to hear the thoughts of the locals as well as communicating the Government's views. I believe that today will provide me with another opportunity to once again hear these opinions. In any case, the Director General of the Fisheries Agency has already visited Okinawa and with that in mind the Government will address this matter so that we can clear as many of the concerns of the locals as possible.

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