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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The special intelligence protection bill
  • The purchase of Japan's remote border islands by foreign investors

REPORTER: The Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP) approved the special intelligence protection bill today, which New Komeito is also expected to approve. The bill is now expected to be submitted to the Diet as early as October 25. Even Chief Representative of New Komeito Yamaguchi, who had expressed reservations about the content of the bill, has now expressed his intention to have the bill enacted during the extraordinary Diet session. Could you share with us your thoughts on this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I believe it was necessary, in the first place, for the ruling parties to be on the same page prior to submitting the bill. We have managed to gain New Komeito's understanding and I believe that the bill has been approved by the LDP through intra-party proceedings as well. In any case, I believe that this bill will be extremely important for the implementation of the NSC bill and I therefore hope that the Diet session will engage in thorough deliberations and that the bill will be enacted before the end of the session.

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question regarding comments made by the Prime Minister during today's Budget Committee meeting. In relation to the fact that Japan's remote border islands is being purchased by foreign investors, the Prime Minister stated that he will carefully examine the possibility of restricting the sale of land surrounding defense facilities in light of their importance from a security perspective. How will the Government address this issue?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: If I am not mistaken, I believe that the LDP was exploring the possibility of having a member of the Diet submit a bill in relation to this matter. Regardless, the need for some kind of restriction on land surrounding those facilities in the interest of security has in fact been talked about for some time. Therefore, I believe that we will be addressing the issue in some form or other.

REPORTER: I would like to ask another question about restrictions on the purchase of Japan's remote border islands by foreign investors. In the past the Prime Minister has also mentioned the need to develop laws in relation to this matter at the House of Councillors Budget Committee meetings and the meetings of the House of Councillors Committee on Financial Affairs. However, if I am not mistaken, I believe that World Trade Organization (WTO) regulations essentially prohibit restrictions on land purchases by foreign companies. How will the Government pursue the development of such laws given these WTO regulations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Whatever the case may be, the Government as a whole agrees that we must take some kind of action. Therefore, we must now determine what kind of laws or measures are required. We must also determine how and where a bill should be initiated, that is, we need to determine if a bill should be submitted by an individual Diet member or if it should be submitted as a Cabinet bill. Nevertheless, whichever way we decide to proceed, we believe that some form of defense measure is necessary.

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