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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The issue related to a state of emergency in Thailand
  • The issues related to the Japan's economic outlook for 2014
  • The issues related to the Russian President Putin's visit to Japan


REPORTER: In Thailand, a state of emergency has been declared, and tensions have been rising. Is the Japanese Government doing anything for the Japanese nationals living in Thailand?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are closely watching the situation in Thailand with deep concern. Japan has been strongly encouraging all parties to exercise restraint and refrain from violence, and hopes that the situation will be brought under control peacefully through dialogue. The Government will work steadily to collect information, and continue to fully take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of Japanese nationals and the smooth operations of Japanese companies.

REPORTER: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that Japan's 2014 real economic growth rate will rise 1.7% from the previous year. The IMF raised last October's forecast by 0.4%. What do you think about the fact that an upward revision was made ahead of the consumption tax increase, which will take effect from April of this year?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: With regard to the Japan's economic outlook for 2014, a (draft) supplementary budget for a fiscal stimulus package or economic measures will be submitted to the upcoming session of the Diet. I believe taking this into consideration, the IMF forecasted that some of the effects of the consumption tax increase would be mitigated, and based on this outlook, made the upward revision. In any case, it is important that the Government carries through with the recent Cabinet decision to fully realize a positive cycle of the economy.

REPORTER: Minister of Foreign Affairs Lavrov of Russia said during his press conference with the foreign press yesterday that President Putin accepted Prime Minister Abe's invitation to pay an official visit to Japan. If this official visit is realized, this will be the first visit to Japan by a Russian President in nine years. Firstly, could you please comment on this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: During their summit meeting in April of last year, Prime Minister Abe directly extended a request to President Putin to visit Japan. President Putin expressed his appreciation at that time. In this context, we are grateful that Russia made this announcement regarding the President's visit to Japan, and Japan welcomes the announcement. However, the situation at this time is that the timing of the visit has not yet been decided.

REPORTER: I understand that the timing has not yet been decided. However, if the visit to Japan is realized, do you foresee that in the summit meeting the two leaders will aim to make concrete progress on the resolution of the Northern Territories issue?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Prime Minister and President Putin held talks on four occasions last year. We expect that there is an extremely strong bond of trust between the leaders. In this context, I believe it can be anticipated that the leaders will naturally discuss a variety of issues, including economic cooperation.


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