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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, September 26, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The special corporate tax for disaster
  • The draft bill of the National Strategic Special Zone
  • Four Northern Territory Island Non-Visa Exchange Program
  • The Japan-Iran summit meeting

REPORTER: New Komeito party leader Yamaguchi has made a request to the Government about bringing forward the ending of the special corporate tax for reconstruction. He has stated that further explanations should be provided about methods of linking corporation tax-related matters to wage increases and I believe that he has indicated that there has been insufficient explanation provided to ruling parties. What is your reaction to this point?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Based on the instructions of the Prime Minister on September 10, currently Minister of Finance Aso and Minister Amari are leading the process of deliberation concerning the economic policy package and in the course of that process exchanging and coordinating opinions with the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and New Komeito. Coordination on this issue will continue towards the end of the month, with the Government and ruling coalition parties working together to ensure the finalization of the best possible policy package that squarely addresses the issues of breaking out of deflation, rebuilding public finances and achieving fiscal soundness.

REPORTER: On a related note, the New Komeito has been cautious about bringing forward the ending of the special corporate tax for reconstruction, so do you think that the Government will be able to gain their understanding on this issue?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First and foremost, of greatest importance is breaking out of deflation. It is of the utmost importance to expand the economy and in so doing achieve fiscal soundness and also further enhance social security. The Prime Minister will make a decision taking both of these views into account. Ultimately it is for the Prime Minister to make a decision and in the process of diligently explaining this decision, I believe that we will gain the understanding of the ruling coalition parties with regard to this matter.

REPORTER: I have a further point of confirmation. As you have just stated, I understand that an economic package and of course corporation tax measures will be important for breaking out of deflation and vitalizing the economy. However, given that 60 percent of GDP is accounted for by personal consumption, will the Government be considering any measures to reduce personal taxation, such as income tax?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have just stated, Minister Aso and Minister Amari are taking the lead in deliberations concerning an economic policy package and are currently in the midst of the process of exchanging opinions on this matter.


CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In the Thematic Meeting of the Industrial Competitiveness Council that was held on September 20, the Prime Minister noted that the National Strategic Special Zone will mark a breakthrough for regulatory reform, and instructed that coordination be implemented towards the submission of the bill to the extraordinary session of the Diet. Upon receiving these instructions, today Minister Amari and Minister Shindo came to the Prime Minister's Office to engage in an exchange of opinions concerning the overall vision for a National Strategic Special Zone. With a view to achieving the submission of the related draft bills, we engaged in an exchange of opinions and discussed the overall vision for the National Strategic Special Zone, agreeing to make every effort to achieve results.

REPORTER: On a separate issue and this is something that I have not confirmed myself, there are reports that Russia has indicated that with regard to the Four Northern Territory Islands Non-Visa Exchange Program, in the future, if a Japanese politician attempts to visit the islands, constraints may be imposed. What is the Government's understanding of the facts behind these reports?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I have not heard anything whatsoever about this matter.

REPORTER: On a related note, if these reports prove to be based on fact, what measures or response will the Government take?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to refrain from making any comment at the current point about what is a hypothetical issue.

REPORTER: On a separate subject, it has been found that the silt fence at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station has been damaged. What is the Government's view of the cause and the impact of the damage?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Issues at the nuclear power station are being dealt with thoroughly, putting safety first, and every effort is being made to deal with the situation.

REPORTER: Is the Government considering any kind of response to this current issue of the damaged silt fence?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Naturally there is an on-site effort to deal with the matter quickly.


REPORTER: Prime Minister Abe is due to hold a meeting with the President of Iran during his visit to the United States. What is the Government's view concerning the significance of this meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: A Japan-Iran summit meeting is scheduled to be held in the morning of September 26 in New York, which will be in the evening Japan time. I believe that an exchange of opinions will take place concerning Iran's nuclear issues.

REPORTER: In specific terms, will the Japanese side call on Iran to abandon nuclear development?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Prior to the scheduled summit meeting, in the evening of September 23, a Japan-Iran Foreign Ministers' meeting was held, where opinions were exchanged on nuclear issues and the situation in Syria. Minister Kishida stated that flexibility on the side of the Iranians would be the key to resolving issues. I believe that the summit meeting has been arranged as an extension of that ministerial meeting.

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