Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  April 2014 >  Friday, April 11, 2014 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Friday, April 11, 2014 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga
I would like to give an overview of the Cabinet meeting. The meeting approved 11 general and other measures, the promulgation of legislation, a cabinet order, and personnel decisions. With regard to statements by ministers, the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry made a statement concerning the Strategic Energy Plan. The Minister of Justice made a statement concerning the current state of legislation on controlling groups that have committed indiscriminate acts of mass murder and the state of efforts for controlling criminal groups via the Anti-Subversive Activities Act. Minister Furuya made a statement concerning the current state of legislation on controlling groups that have committed indiscriminate acts of mass murder. I made statements concerning the Ministerial Meeting on Renewable Energy and on acting Ministers while Ministers in charge are away on overseas visits.

In ministerial discussions following the Cabinet meeting, Minister Amari made a statement concerning consumption and other trends following the raising of the consumption tax. Minister Inada made a statement concerning the confirmation of important documents being held as historical materials in each government organizations. I made a statement concerning the overseas visits of Ministers and other officials during the long holiday period in early May.

With regard to renewable energies, today the Cabinet approved the establishment of the Ministerial Meeting on Renewable Energy, headed by the Chief Cabinet Secretary. The meeting will seek to enhance the Government’s function as a control tower and promote inter-ministerial cooperation on renewable energy. The first meeting was held immediately following the Cabinet meeting. In today’s meeting we confirmed that the Government would make concerted efforts to realize the introduction of renewable energy to the maximum extent possible. Furthermore, we confirmed that we would establish a director general-level liaison meeting among relevant ministries and agencies to this end. For further details please direct your questions to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.


  • Change of economic indicator and impact of consumption tax increase
  • The issue of collective self-defense
  • The issue concerning Strategic Energy Plan

REPORTER: This morning the Nikkei Stock Average has fallen below 14,000 yen. Could you tell us what you perceive to be the factors behind this drop? Could you also tell us once again about the Government’s recognition of the state of the Japanese economy, given that 10 days have passed since the consumption tax rate was raised?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, I am aware of these movements in the stock market, but as always I would like to refrain from making any specific comment so as not to cause unnecessary confusion in the market. My recognition is that the background to the recent trends in share prices and other economic indicators is due to a variety of factors. These include lackluster financial results from a number of United States companies and a cooling down of investor sentiment, which has led to a significant drop in stock prices. The Government will continue to monitor trends in the financial markets. In April the Government increased the consumption tax rate. We consider it important to put the economy back on the path to growth as soon as possible, and to ensure that the economy does not relapse. To this end we will continue to steadily implement the three arrows of Abenomics, placing highest priority on exiting deflation as soon as possible and revitalizing the economy.

REPORTER: In a recent press conference Governor Kuroda of the Bank of Japan (BOJ) was cautious about any further monetary easing. Some people consider that it was his comments that caused a cooling down of investor sentiment. What are your views concerning the necessity for further monetary easing?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In my opinion the situation is exactly as it was stated by the Governor of the BOJ in his press conference. Looking at the status of responses to the recent annual spring labor offensive and according to an announcement issued by RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation), for the first time in six years the average base wage increase is in excess of 6,000 yen. This is the highest level for a decade. In addition, according to the survey in December last year, business sentiment in the manufacturing industry is the highest it has been for 6 years and the highest it has been for 21 years in the non-manufacturing sector. Sentiment is also up among small and medium businesses. What is more, GDP has increased for five consecutive quarters. That, in my opinion, gives a view of the economic situation.


REPORTER: I have a question concerning the right of collective self-defense, specifically with regard to whether the Sunagawa judgment can be read as permitting the right of collective self-defense. Minister of Justice Tanigaki has just stated in a press conference that the discussions have taken a big leap forward and that he therefore felt that the logic was somewhat unstable. This statement appears to be at odds with statements made by the Prime Minister on this issue. What are your views?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I do not believe that the statements are at odds at all. Whatever the case, the Government will wait to receive the report from the Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security. We will then set forth the Government’s basic policy on this issue, while referring to said report. Afterwards we will proceed with discussions in the Diet, in consultation with the Cabinet Legislation Bureau and the ruling parties, and, if necessary, we will seek Cabinet approval. There is absolutely no change to this basic stance. Furthermore, as the Advisory Panel has yet to submit its report, it is the case that there are various opinions circulating. The Government will refer to the final report, once we have received it, and will create a basic policy accordingly. That is the situation as it currently stands.

REPORTER: I have a question concerning the Strategic Energy Plan. The plan stipulates that the Government will reduce dependence on nuclear power to the greatest extent possible. In specific terms, by how much and by when does the Government think it should reduce the proportion of the energy mix accounted for by nuclear power?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, today the Cabinet approved the Strategic Energy Plan. The previous plan was formulated in June 2010. The starting point for the new Strategic Energy Plan was to respond attentively to the suffering of the people affected by the Fukushima nuclear power station accident, to make every effort towards the reconstruction and revitalization of Fukushima and to completely revise the pre-disaster energy strategy from zero. The Strategic Energy Plan that the Cabinet approved today will serve as the basic guidelines for rebuilding a responsible energy policy that will support the livelihoods and economic activities of the people of Japan. As I noted at the start of the press conference, the Government has established the Ministerial Meeting on Renewable Energy today to accelerate such policies. Given that we only just launched the ministerial meeting today it will be difficult to set targets at this point in time. Nevertheless, there is no change to the Government’s commitment, to place the utmost priority on promoting renewable energy over a three-year period. Based on how such efforts turn out, we will seek to create a plan that represents the best energy mix.



Page Top

Related Link