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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The Nikkei Stock Average
  • Japan-North Korea relations
  • The budget for FY2013
  • Consideration for establishing a National Security Council

REPORTER: The Nikkei Stock Average has risen above 15,000 yen for the first time in five years and four months. Although I understand that it is difficult for the Government to comment on stock prices, could I ask for your appraisal of this situation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Fewer than six months have passed since the inauguration of the Abe administration, but from the outset the Prime Minister has demonstrated leadership over economic policy, given that the Government's highest priority is to revitalize the Japanese economy. During the time since the inauguration of the administration a new governor of the Bank of Japan, Mr. Kuroda, and two deputy governors, have been selected who share the same views on economic policy as the Government and who have also worked to advance policies steadily, such as the "three prongs" for economic revitalization. Work has already begun to engage in bold monetary policy, which is one of these three prongs and there are expectations both at home and overseas that such measures will be further accelerated. I believe that it is such expectations that have led to the rise in the stock price index. Above all, the Government is committed to doing what must be done to advance policies with a sense of speed, as we seek to achieve true revitalization of the Japanese economy.


REPORTER: In the recent Diet Budget Affairs Committee Prime Minister Abe has spoken about the possibility of a Japan-North Korea summit meeting. Is the groundwork currently being laid towards the holding of such a summit meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I was also in the meeting, listening to the Prime Minister's responses, and in general I believe that the Prime Minister responded in general terms to the question that was put to him. Since his appointment the Prime Minister has sought to resolve the abduction issue himself, from a stance of being the person with the responsibility to do so. Many of the family members of the abduction victims, including Mr. and Mrs. Yokota, are advanced in years and in that sense I believe that the Prime Minister is filled with a great resolve to achieve a resolution. The concept of the Prime Minister with regard to the abduction is also that of the Abe Cabinet and therefore although talk about immediately holding a summit meeting may be premature, I believe that the situation is as the Prime Minister himself described in general at the Diet Budget Affairs Committee.

REPORTER: Although it is a little early to ask, this evening the budget for FY2013 is expected to be passed by the Diet. Could you tell us of your resolve towards achieving the passage of the budget?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Time flies very quickly. Since the inauguration of the Abe administration on December 26, we have worked single-mindedly towards this day. We have worked diligently up to this point with the earnest desire to achieve the passage of the draft supplementary budget and the draft budget as soon as possible. With the cooperation of both the ruling and opposition parties it is the case that the FY2013 budget will be passed by the Diet today. Following the passage of the budget, however, there are still many issues that remain outstanding and require political momentum to resolve. We will not let up for a moment in our efforts to move to implement policies steadily one by one, and respond to the high expectations of the people of Japan.


REPORTER: According to some press reports, the head of the Joint Staff has been instructed to attend the meeting of four ministers, with regard to the creation of a Japanese National Security Council (NSC), which the Government is currently considering. Could you confirm whether it is the case that the head of the Joint Staff is to attend the meetings, and if so, why?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The meeting of the Advisory Council on the Establishment of a National Security Council was held the other day, on May 9, and discussions took place among experts from various fields. The current draft bill on the establishment of an NSC has been drafted at the discretion of the Prime Minister and currently it is the case that work is being accelerated towards the submission of the draft bill to the Diet, based on the outcomes of discussions with experts to date. It has been decided that the Advisory Council will be convened one more time and it is likely that further discussions will take place in that meeting. The content of the draft bill, therefore, has yet to be fully decided and I would like to refrain from commenting about its specific content at this time.

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