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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

I would like to speak on the Prime Minister's schedule. On Friday April 4, the Prime Minister is planning to visit and inspect “Kibo no Ie(House of Hope)”, a foster care institution in Tokyo. More specifically, in light of the rising number of children in need of care for their emotional wellbeing, the Prime Minister will exchange views with staff regarding the initiatives of the institution, speak with junior high school and high school children living at the institution, and spend some time with some of the younger children. For more details on this topic, please contact the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.


  • The issue of the judgment regarding whaling
  • The issue regarding the reduction of corporate tax
  • The impact of earthquake struck off in Chile
  • The schedule and the subject of the President Obama’s visit to Japan

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question regarding whaling. I understand that the Agent of Japan Tsuruoka met with the Prime Minister earlier today to report on the judgment delivered down by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). During yesterday's press conference, you said that the Government will study the judgment closely. After receiving the report today, what does the Government judge to be the reasons Japan lost the suit?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am awaiting a report from Chief Negotiator Tsuruoka. After receiving the report of the result we will discuss the matter.


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question concerning the reduction of corporate taxes. Today, senior officials of the Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) Research Commission on the Tax System met to commence discussions on reducing corporate taxes. The Prime Minister announced his intention to initiate corporate tax reform at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2014 in Davos. You also expressed your desire last month for the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy to initiate the reforms from next year. What are you expecting from the Research Commission's discussions, if any?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, during his speech at the WEF Annual Meeting in Davos, the Prime minister stated that this year, we will set about further reform on corporate tax. Furthermore, the LDP pledged to the public during the election campaign that we will reduce corporate taxes to revitalize the Japanese economy so that Japan can win out against the global competition. The Government is also presently holding discussions on the topic at the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy and the Tax Commission. I would therefore like the ruling parties to also conduct thorough discussions while taking into consideration the discussions of the Government as well.


REPORTER: A massive earthquake struck off the coast of Chile. Could you share with us any information concerning the safety of Japanese nationals? Also, it is expected that a tsunami caused by the earthquake will make it to Japan, so could you share with us how the Japanese Government is preparing for this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, an earthquake with an epicenter off Chile's northern coast occurred and may have triggered a tsunami that could widely affect areas around the Pacific. We are currently assessing whether or not a tsunami has actually been triggered. If the tsunami were to reach Japan, it is estimated that in the earliest instances, it would reach Japan by around 5:00 or 6:00 am tomorrow morning. The Government will hold a disaster warning meeting among the relevant ministries and agencies led by Minister of State for Disaster Management Furuya at 2:00 pm today in order to share information between said ministries and agencies. We are also working in cooperation with relevant local government organizations to ensure that we are as ready as possible to respond. The Government will respond in a timely and appropriate manner by, for instance, having the Japan Meteorological Agency issue a tsunami warning or tsunami advisory based on information obtained by observing the tsunami at a number of different locations. At this stage, I have not yet received any information that Japanese nationals were affected.

REPORTER: I have a question in relation to President Obama's visit to Japan, which is expected to take place sometime in April. Could you share with us how the arrangements to fix a date are progressing?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I have not yet received an update. I believe, however, that it will not be long before a date is determined.

REPORTER: I would like to ask another question on the same topic. Is it true that the President will visit Japan as a state guest?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I have been informed that arrangements are being made for this to be the case.

REPORTER: I understand that negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are currently one of the issue of concern between Japan and the U.S. Are you considering making TPP one of the main discussion topics during the upcoming summit meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: There are a number of topics of interest for Japan and the U.S. and I would assume that TPP would of course be one of the major items of discussion.

REPORTER: TPP negotiations have been ongoing since last year and I believe that you once described the negotiations as being in their final stages. Will the Government seek to reach a general agreement at the summit meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any case, both sides are engaging in the final stages of the TPP negotiations and are discussing matters pertaining to national interests. Therefore I believe I am right in saying that the negotiations are finally coming to the ending.




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