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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday, June 16, 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 inform you that we have decided to appoint Mr. Takatoshi Matsuda as Special Advisor to the Cabinet Office, effective today. Moments ago, I gave a letter of assignment to Mr. Matsuda.


REPORTER: I understand that a short while ago, you met with Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Saiki and Commissioner General Yoneda of the National Police Agency, respectively. Did they brief you on abduction-related matters?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I received explanations on many levels. I met with them separately. I would like to refrain from disclosing the details.

REPORTER: I have a question regarding North Korea. North Korea has been working to establish the Special Investigation Committee in about three weeks’ time from the date of the Japan-North Korea agreement. The deadline is this week. Do you expect that the Special Investigation Committee will be established as scheduled?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As it is supposed to be established in about three weeks’ time, I imagine that negotiations are being conducted.

REPORTER: As of now, has Japan been notified of the date and time of the establishment of the Special Investigation Committee and the members of the organizing committee?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We have not yet received such information. When the details become known, we will of course inform you of them.


REPORTER: In Brazil where the football World Cup is under way, Japanese nationals have been victims of muggings or had their belongings snatched. Can you please explain what responses the Government is taking?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, as of June 16, four incidents in Recife and four incidents in Sao Paulo involving Japanese nationals have been reported. The Consular Office of Japan in Recife and the Consulate-General of Japan in Sao Paulo are assisting the Japanese victims of these incidents. In addition, alert e-mails are being sent out to the entire Japanese community in Brazil as necessary.

REPORTER: This past Saturday, during the Prime Minister’s visit to Tottori Prefecture, he announced the establishment of the “The Regional Vitalization Headquarters.” Can you please explain once again what the specific objectives of this headquarters are?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We must ensure that the momentum towards exiting deflation and revitalizing the economy is maintained. At the same time we must realize continuous and stable growth of the Japanese economy by enabling the revitalization and development of local communities, while also looking ahead to the future and ensuring the sustainability of our finances, including the social security system. To that end it is of the utmost importance that we move quickly to deal with challenges to overcome the issues of the decreasing population and the extreme aging of society. In particular, it is critical that we promote comprehensive policies to maintain the vitality of local communities, minimize the outflow of the regional population to Tokyo, and overcome the issue of the declining birthrate and decreasing population. We will establish the headquarters to serve as the control tower for these purposes, and create a scheme that allows us to take concerted efforts across the Government as a whole. This was the motivation behind the Prime Minister’s announcement.



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