Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  May 2013 >  Friday, May 10, 2013 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Friday, May 10, 2013 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

  • An overview of the Cabinet meeting

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to give an overview of the Cabinet meeting. Regarding personnel decisions, the conferment of court ranks and decorations was decided. With regard to statements by ministers, I made a statement concerning acting Ministers while Ministers in charge are away on overseas visits, among other matters.


  • The yen exchange rate
  • The post of President of the Japan Post
  • The Japan-Taiwan fisheries agreement
  • Consideration to establish a National Security Council
  • The Commentary in China's People's Daily about Okinawa

REPORTER: Regarding the yen exchange rate, the dollar has climbed to the upper end of the 100-yen level. The stock index has also surged to the upper end of the 14,500-yen level. Can you please explain what the views of the Government are regarding this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Abenomics is a three-pronged economic policy. Of the three prongs, I believe that "bold monetary policy" in particular has made the most progress in overcoming deflation and that the market is responding to this. With regard to the exchange rate level, I would like to refrain from making any comments. However, it is my hope that Abenomics continues to drive the revitalization of the Japanese economy and also contribute further to the world economy. Higher stock prices are better than lower stock prices. In this sense, I believe that these observations are an evidence of the steady progress the policy is making.

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question regarding the Japan Post. Today, some media have reported that the Japan Post, a company wholly owned by the Government, will replace President Saka following the June shareholders' meeting. According to the reports, Chair Nishimuro of the Postal Privatization Committee will take over as President. Can you please verify the facts?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am not aware of this matter. The basic view of the Government is that, from the standpoint of advancing the privatization of the postal services in a smooth manner, including the future listing of the Japan Post on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the management methods of the private sector must be further incorporated into the postal services. In addition, it is suitable for an individual with a wealth of experience to serve as the President for heading the company. I believe that this matter is being dealt with under the leadership of the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications in accordance with this view.


REPORTER: With regard to Mr. Nishimuro who has been mentioned in connection with this, what is your assessment of him from the perspective of managing the privatization which you discussed a short while ago?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Mr. Nishimuro is currently the Chair of the Postal Privatization Committee. Furthermore, he has a wealth of experience. There are many such people in the business community. I believe that the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications is now leading the effort to select the President from a pool of such candidates.

REPORTER: With regard to this personnel decision, Your Party has also expressed opposition to the appointment of a former Ministry of Finance bureaucrat. Looking ahead to after the House of Councillors election, did forming an alliance with Your Party factor into the decision to appoint Mr. Nishimuro?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: No, that does not factor in at all. The Government owns 100% of the stocks, and this is indeed an important matter to the Japanese people. (The appointment of Mr. Saka during the transition period following the House of Representatives election) completely ignored procedures and, in my view, was a symbolic personnel decision that was reminiscent of the ways of the past, when bureaucrats used to have control and were able to do anything they wanted to. So this is not a matter specifically about the current President and so on. My belief is that these practices should naturally be avoided. Indeed, in order to proceed with the privatization process, including the listing of the Japan Post on the stock exchange, I believe it is suitable to appoint an individual who has management experience in the private sector.


REPORTER: The Japan-Taiwan fisheries agreement is in effect from today. The agreement is entering into force from today although the two countries still have not finalized the rules after holding a meeting on May 7 to set the rules. Criticisms over this have been raised even within the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan. What are your thoughts regarding today's entry into force of the agreement?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: On May 7, the first meeting of the fishery committee of the private sector was held, and opinions were exchanged. However, an agreement was not reached. That is my understanding. The Government expects constructive discussions to take place as swiftly as possible at the Japan-Taiwan fishery committee, fully bearing in mind the wishes of the stakeholders in Okinawa Prefecture in order to ensure that the objective of the agreement is achieved and the agreement is implemented smoothly. The Government will make every effort to resolve the issues pertaining to the arrangements of the operation of Taiwanese fishing vessels, while taking into account the status of the implementation of the agreement. Necessary measures will also be taken in coordination with the relevant ministries and agencies while fully listening to and understanding the opinions of relevant fishery operators with regard to the impact of the implementation of this agreement.


REPORTER: For the post of Secretary-General of the Japanese National Security Council, do you intend to appoint a Diet member who will concurrently serve as the Special Advisor to the Prime Minister? Or if the prerequisites are met, is it possible that a current bureaucrat or someone from the private sector will be appointed?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: With regard to this, a meeting was held yesterday, and a meeting will be held one more time which will be the final meeting. In principle, I believe a political appointee from the private sector will be appointed. In any case, as there is still time until the draft bill is submitted, I believe discussions will take place on these matters.

REPORTER: On the subject of the commentary in China's People's Daily and the statement made by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the reexamination of the issue of territorial rights over the Ryukyu Islands and Okinawa, you stated yesterday that the Japanese Government has lodged a protest. In response to this, I believe the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs once again objected, saying that it cannot accept Japan's assertion. If you have another rebuttal to this, could you please explain this to us?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: It is completely unreasonable, and Japan cannot accept it. I have made statements on this repeatedly, and I will refrain from commenting again. It is truly completely unreasonable. There is nothing more to be said.


Page Top

Related Link