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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Friday, August 2, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

  • Prime Minister's plan to visit Yamaguchi and Shimane Prefectures

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Prime Minister will visit Yamaguchi and Shimane Prefectures on August 4 and assess the extent of the damage caused by the heavy rains, returning to Tokyo on the same day. The Prime Minister will also participate in the 16th Nippon Jamboree and the 30th Asia-Pacific Regional Scout Jamboree, which will both be held in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

As for the assessment and investigation of damage caused by the heavy rain, since there has been damage reported in prefectures other than Yamaguchi and Shimane, the Government is planning to dispatch Government survey teams headed by Parliamentary Secretaries to Iwate, Yamagata, Miyagi, Fukushima and Niigata Prefectures this weekend.

That is all from me.


  • The exchanges of views on security policy among Cabinet members concerned
  • Deputy Prime Minister Aso's remarks on the Nazi regime
  • The issue of the right to collective self-defense

REPORTER: I believe that you were also in attendance, but I understand that the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and the Minister of Defense exchanged views on security policy this afternoon. As much as you are able, could you share with us what topics were discussed and the details of those discussions?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Cabinet members involved with security policy exchanged opinions on issues concerning security such as the establishment of the National Security Council and revision of the National Defense Program Guidelines. However, due to the sensitive nature of the topic, I would like to refrain from going into further detail.

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question on the same topic. Did you discuss policies for the revision of the right to collective self-defense and the timetable going forward?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: No, we did not. As I just said, we discussed bills to be submitted to Diet.

REPORTER: The Budget Committee of the opposition parties is seeking intensive discussion in relation to the comments made by Deputy Prime Minister Aso. Do you still consider this issue to have been resolved?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I said yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Aso himself retracted his comments after admitting that it caused misunderstanding and was interpreted in an unintended way. He retracted the comments. It was simply a misunderstanding and not an example of discrepancies between views or values, and therefore there is nothing to debate. I believe that by nature this is not something that should be discussed during a Diet session. The Government in no way views the Nazi regime in a positive light whatsoever. In the post-war period, Japan has consistently striven to build a society that thoroughly advocates peace and human rights and contributed to the international community. This position of the Japanese Government will never change.


REPORTER: In relation to the security topic raised earlier, I believe that the issue of the right to collective self-defense was not discussed during the meeting. I believe that today there was a personnel change involving the Director-General of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau, and the Diet, the opposition, and New Komeito, a ruling party, have all offered varying opinions. While New Komeito, which is a ruling party, is very cautious, or even against it, the Abe Cabinet intends to pursue the right to collective self-defense. Could you share with us how the Government plans to proceed?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the change of personnel has not been finalized; it was merely reported in the paper as such. Therefore I must refrain from making any comment. However, as the Government, or as the LDP, we naturally understand that we must pursue each of the promises of the election manifesto while working together with New Komeito. Therefore, I believe that we will proceed with our plans carefully, one by one, while communicating with the public.


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