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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Friday, May 24, 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
  • The Strategic Headquarters of the Promotion of an Advanced Information and Telecommunications Network Society

I would like to give an overview of the Cabinet Meeting. The meeting approved 22 general measures and the promulgation of legislation, as well as draft bills and personnel decisions. With regard to statements by ministers, Prime Minister Abe made a statement about a temporary acting Prime Minister during his overseas visit. In ministerial discussions, Minister Inada, the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications and myself each made statements concerning the reform of the national public servant system.

Prior to the Cabinet meeting, the second meeting of the Strategic Headquarters for the Promotion of an Advanced Information and Telecommunications Network Society (IT Strategic Headquarters) since the inauguration of the second Abe Cabinet was held and a new IT Strategy and Declaration on the Creation of a World-leading IT Nation were compiled. The new strategy aims to ensure that IT will act as an engine for growth, helping the Japanese economy and society to break out of the sense of stagnation that currently pervades and contribute to the revitalization of the Japanese economy. Minister Yamamoto was instrumental in the compilation of the new strategy and the Government will engage in concerted dynamic efforts to implement it with a sense of speed. The strategy sets out aims for society as follows: "A society that promotes the creation of innovative new industries and services as well as the growth of all industries;" "A society in which people can live comfortably in good health and peace of mind and one that is the safest in the world and resilient to disasters;" and "A society where public services are provided in a "one-stop" format, enabling anyone to access them anywhere and at any time." For further details please direct your questions to the office responsible for IT-related affairs in the Cabinet Secretariat.



  • The Nikkei Stock Average
  • The situation in North Korea

REPORTER: I have a question concerning share prices. Yesterday the Nikkei Stock Average plunged more than 1,100 yen, although it has recovered somewhat in early trading today. What is the Government's analysis of the moves in the markets?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As is usually the case and as I have previously stated, in order to avoid causing unnecessary confusion in the markets I will refrain from making any specific comment concerning share price fluctuations. What I can say is that Japan's economy is gradually picking up and it is therefore of the utmost importance to respond calmly. The Government will continue to monitor trends in the financial and capital markets and their impact and there is no change to our policy of seeking to overcome deflation in the near term and to achieve private sector-driven sustainable economic growth through the integrated implementation of the three prongs of economic revitalization. I believe that these measures currently being implemented by the Government will help to enhance predictability in the markets.

REPORTER: I have a question regarding the situation in North Korea. North Korea has dispatched an envoy to China, who has indicated a desire on the part of the North Korean Government to engage in dialogue with other countries. How does the Government evaluate these moves by North Korea? Also, has the Chinese Government provided any information about the statements made by the North Korean envoy?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware of the press reports concerning this matter. If it is actually the case that North Korea shows willingness to cease provocative actions and move towards dialogue, the Government would consider this a positive development and therefore will continue to monitor the situation. However, as I have noted on previous occasions, Japan's basic policy towards North Korea is one of dialogue and pressure and our door is always open for dialogue. It goes without saying that a prerequisite for dialogue is for North Korea to engage in specific actions towards denuclearization. The Government will continue to make a response while cooperating closely with other countries concerned, including the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK).

REPORTER: According to the Seoul Shinmun newspaper, at the time of the visit to North Korea by Special Advisor to the Cabinet Isao Iijima, the North Korean side offered to repatriate two specified missing persons. What are the facts behind this report?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am not aware of this press report, nor of such an offer having been made. As I have stated on numerous occasions, the Government's basic stance with regard to the abduction issue is to ensure the safety and the immediate return to Japan of all the abductees, obtain a full account concerning the abductions, and realize the handover of the perpetrators of the abductions.

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