Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  July 2013 >  Wednesday, July 31, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The reconstruction budget
  • Japan-U.S. relations
  • The consumption tax

REPORTER: I have a question concerning the budget for reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake, an announcement about which was made today. What is your reaction to the fact that 3.4 trillion yen of the budget allocated for reconstruction has not been used?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: It is a fact that from the fiscal 2012 budget for reconstruction a total of 2.1 trillion yen ear-marked for urban development projects and 500 billion yen allocated for decontamination work has yet to be disbursed. These projects are ones that prioritize the formation of consensus among persons concerned in the relevant municipalities and communities and I believe that the reason the budget was not disbursed is due to the fact that consensus was not reached. I hear that this is why the actual amount disbursed did not reach the amount of the budget that was initially allocated. However, given that reconstruction from the earthquake is one of the three pillars of the Abe administration, together with revitalization of the Japanese economy and thorough crisis management, the Government seeks to focus human resources and materials and use all means possible to further develop structures for implementing reconstruction. Given the results that have been announced today, I believe that reconstruction efforts need to be accelerated.

REPORTER: It was the case that for fiscal 2011 an even greater proportion of the budget for reconstruction was not used, which raises questions about the status of considerations on how to make budget execution more efficient.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I believe that projects involving decontamination and urban development are particularly difficult in that they require consensus among local residents, which takes time to achieve. This is the reason why budget allocation could not be fully disbursed. If consensus could be achieved it would be the case that budget would be fully used and the Government will naturally continue to make efforts to try to ensure that consensus can be reached. However, these are projects in which agreement of local residents is a priority and it is difficult to reach such a consensus. Nonetheless, as one of the three pillars of the administration's policies, the Government will continue to make every effort to accelerate reconstruction efforts.

REPORTER: I have a question concerning Japan-United States relations. Following the victory in the recent House of Councillors election it could be assumed that the administration of Prime Minister Abe is now on a stable footing and likely to continue in government for the long term. Given this situation, what are the Government's aims for building the Japan-United States relationship and developing relations of trust between President Obama and Prime Minister Abe?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: When Prime Minister Abe visited the United States in February, in his summit meeting with President Obama he pledged that making the Japan-United States relationship even stronger was truly the cornerstone of Japan's diplomacy and security. Since then efforts have been built up steadily to further strengthen relations and during that time the Prime Minister has met with Vice President Biden on two occasions. I believe that it is important to continue to hold such meetings. The Government will continue to engage diligently in efforts to ensure strong relations of trust exist between Japan and the United States as alliance partners.

REPORTER: I believe that the Government has extended an invitation to President Obama to visit Japan. If such a visit is realized, based on what you have just said about Japan steadily fulfilling its pledges, what kind of themes would be discussed between the two leaders? I imagine that there would be various matters to discuss, including the economy, security and other matters.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: No decision has yet been made concerning a presidential visit to Japan, but Japan and the United States will continue to engage with each other as alliance partners over issues such as those you have mentioned and also based on our shared responsibility to work for world freedom and peace.

REPORTER: Yesterday Minister Amari stated that not raising consumption tax was not an option. Can I ask for your reaction to this statement?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have stated previously with regard to the issue of consumption tax, in the autumn the Prime Minister will take responsibility for making a final decision, based on all the various indices available.


Page Top

Related Link