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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Friday, June 14, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Reconstruction Agency official's inappropriate messages on Twitter
  • Operations of Osprey aircraft
  • The Growth Strategy

REPORTER: I believe that Minister for Reconstruction Nemoto visited you, presumably in relation to the Twitter messages posted by the Reconstruction Agency official. Could you tell us the details of the report you were given regarding the incident? Also, I understand that the staff member in question, whom I believe to be a Counselor, has been relieved of his position. Could you share with us your views on this decision?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the Minister held a press conference today to express his apologies to the public. When the Abe Cabinet took office, the Prime Minister strongly urged all ministers to be mindful that they are all effectively ministers for reconstruction and that they are all responsible for carrying out reconstruction efforts following the Great East Japan Earthquake so as to meet the needs of people living in the affected areas. Despite this, a number of incidents that upset those who have been affected by the earthquake have occurred. I understand that during today's press conference at the Reconstruction Agency, the Minister for Reconstruction made apologies for these incidents and expressed his determination to ensure that staff of the Reconstruction Agency do not engage in this kind of behavior and that the entire Reconstruction Agency remains committed to the reconstruction effort.

REPORTER: People from the affected areas have voiced their disappointment and dismay. Could you share with us how the Government is planning to address or follow up on these reactions?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I said earlier, the Cabinet places the highest priority on post-earthquake reconstruction. As such, the Minister today expressed his apologies for the recent incidents to those who have been affected by the earthquake in order to clear up the misunderstanding. At the same time, the Minister expressed his determination to get back to the basics and to complete reconstruction. To achieve this, the Minister instructed his staff to ensure that something like this does not happen again and to exert every effort for reconstruction.


REPORTER: On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week, Osprey aircraft made flights around the Futenma Air Station after 10 pm. This clearly infringes the safety assurance measures agreed upon by Japan and the U.S. I believe that the Ministry of Defense (MOD) has also confirmed the incidents but could you tell us if the government has made an inquiry or lodged a protest with the U.S. Military?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I understand that the MOD has confirmed the occurrence of such incidents and is now making inquiries with the U.S. Military about the details of the incidents.

REPORTER: Has the U.S. responded to the queries?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I have yet to be informed of a response. However, first and foremost, maximum consideration of the impact operations may have on the lives of local residents must be made before Osprey aircraft can be operated. Therefore, I understand that Japan and the U.S. will hold the necessary discussions to ensure that the agreement between the two countries will be appropriately adhered to.


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question concerning the growth strategy, which gained Cabinet approval this morning. Looking at the strategy, it appears to include policies, such as those concerning agriculture and education, which may lead to increased pressure to raise spending. I also understand that the basic policies 2013 also gained Cabinet approval today, the same day as the approval of the growth strategy, which I believe to be a reflection of the Cabinet's intention to pursue growth and sound fiscal discipline simultaneously. Could you share with us the government's thoughts?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The basic policies 2013 map out basic strategies to break out of deflation as early as possible and realize a decade of economic revitalization.

Furthermore, the growth strategy aims to realize sustainable private demand-led growth by urging all private economic entities to remain committed to taking on this challenge and enabling them to vigorously and proactively shift their initiatives for growth into high gear. We announced these two strategies at the same time as we believe that they will complement each other in achieving the two goals.

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