Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  May 2014 >  Monday, May 19, 2014 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday, May 19, 2014 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Result of a joint opinion poll conducted by Sankei Shimbun and FNN

REPORTER: According to a joint opinion poll conducted by Sankei Shimbun and FNN, the percentage of people responding either that the full exercise of the right of collective self-defense should be permitted, or that it should be permitted to the minimum extent necessary, increased to 70%. What is your reaction to this result? Also, the figures in opinion polls vary quite significantly between the different media outlets. How does this affect the Government’s implementation of policies?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, as the Prime Minister stated during his recent press conference, there has been considerable internationalization in Japan. Over 1.5 million Japanese nationals live overseas. And more than 18 million Japanese nationals visit abroad annually, including travel. At the same time, the security environment surrounding Japan is becoming increasingly severe. Under these circumstances, the Government has a responsibility to protect the lives and property of the people and ensure national security.

Against this background, the Prime Minister stated during his press conference the other day that, based on the report of the Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis for Security, the Government will proceed with further studies of the view that the Constitution permits the limited exercise of the right of collective self-defense if a situation could pose a serious impact on the security of Japan. This view will now be reviewed in line with concrete cases, at the consultations among the ruling parties. Simultaneously, we of course need to obtain the understanding of the people. The Prime Minister stated that the Government will make efforts in this context.

This approximately 70% support for the exercise of the right of collective self-defense, including limited exercise, was, in fact, also found in the opinion polls of other newspapers. If limited exercise is included, the percentage is around 70%. I believe this is an objective figure. So, the members of the ruling parties will discuss the people’s perception. If the ruling parties are able to reach a common understanding, we will then proceed to adopt it in the form of a Cabinet Decision.

REPORTER: In the same opinion poll, 63% responded that they praise the Abe Cabinet’s 500-day administration of the Government. What are your thoughts regarding this result? In addition, respondents were asked to choose just one Cabinet member whom they regard most highly, and you ranked in No. 1. Can you please comment on this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have often said over these past 500 days, we, all Cabinet members with the Prime Minister at the helm, continued to devote ourselves single-mindedly to revitalizing the Japanese economy, achieving reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake, and furthermore, amid the severe security environment surrounding Japan, achieving thorough crisis management, as if all of us were ministers in charge. I imagine that such factors over the past 500 or more days were assessed positively by the people.

We will continue to take a serious and earnest approach, and proceed with the same motivation.

With regard to the matter of Cabinet members, this was probably the effect of my daily appearances on TV due to my morning and afternoon press conferences.

REPORTER: You stated that Cabinet members continued to devote themselves to various issues, with economic revitalization at the top of the list. Today, stock prices declined for the fourth consecutive business day, and the Nikkei Stock Average temporarily slipped below 14,000. Can you please comment on this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I always say, I would like to refrain from commenting on the movement of stock prices as that could cause unnecessary confusion in the market.

However, I consider that the Government should, for example, closely follow the trends in the financial market. The data for machinery orders in March, which was released today, were strong, weren’t they? I believe that the actual economy continues to remain on a steady path.

Furthermore, to be able to quickly set the economy on a growth track, the Government intends to steadily implement the three arrows with a focus on exiting deflation and revitalizing the economy. There is no change at all to our pursuit of this.

REPORTER: In contrast with your efforts to exit deflation and revitalize the economy as you just noted, the way that the stock prices are falling indicates that there is nothing actively encouraging the buying of stocks. I get the impression that things are quite tough in this regard. What is your view of the situation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am not worried about that at all. By steadily promoting efforts to exit deflation and revitalize the economy, as we are now doing, the actual economy will naturally improve and this will be reflected in the market.


Page Top

Related Link