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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, March 20, 2014 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to give an overview of the Cabinet meeting. The meeting approved 12 written answers in response to letters of questions by Diet members, cabinet orders, and personnel decisions.


  • The issues related to the corporate tax rate
  • The issue related to Japan-North Korea Red Cross Talks
  • The issue related to the situation in Ukraine

REPORTER: During yesterday’s meeting of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, I understand you asked members to work to lower the effective corporate tax rate starting from next year. I have two questions. First, what was the intention behind your statement? Secondly, how do you envision the tax rate going down? Will the Government gradually reduce the effective corporate tax rate starting in FY2015? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, the Prime Minister has stated that this year, we will set about further reform on corporate tax. He has said this at the World Economic Forum in Davos and in response to questions asked at the Diet. Furthermore, the Government announced that it will create the world’s best business environment for companies. Clearly, a major focal point in this regard is indeed the high corporate tax rate in Japan compared to other countries. Therefore, the Council needs to examine these matters, including the lowering of the effective corporate tax rate and the number of years over which we would reduce the tax rate. It was with these thoughts in mind that I made my statement


REPORTER: Japan-North Korea Red Cross Talks were held in Shenyang yesterday and they will be held today as well. What is the Government’s understanding of the current status of these talks?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Japan-North Korea Red Cross Talks were held yesterday, and they are still taking place today. The talks are ongoing. I expect a briefing will likely be given after the talks are finished. Therefore, I should refrain from giving out the details at this moment in time.


REPORTER: I have a question regarding the situation in Ukraine. It seems that President Putin of Russia is expediting efforts to make Crimea a Russian territory. How does the Japanese Government perceive this situation? Can you please also tell us more about the timing of the additional sanctions that you spoke about yesterday, as well as the response of the Japanese Government?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The basic view of Japan is as I have stated to date. The signing of the treaty making Crimea a part of Russia infringes on unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and Japan deplores this. Japan stands by its position that we can never overlook an attempt to change the status quo with force in the background. With regard to future sanctions, we will consider our response in coordination with the G7 countries. 



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