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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday, September 29, 2014 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The policy speech by the Prime Minister

REPORTER: The Prime Minister delivered a policy speech, expressing his resolve to address domestic affair and foreign policy challenges, respectively. Can you please share your comments with us if you have any? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, I believe the policy speech demonstrated in a straightforward manner the commitment of the reshuffled Cabinet of the second Abe administration: namely to give the highest priority to the economy by exercising political leadership in moving forward with reforms in order to further vitalize local economies in Japan and achieve a society in which all women shine.  

REPORTER: I have a related question. As the extraordinary Diet session gets off to a start, some critics are saying that not enough days can be secured for deliberations due to the Prime Minister’s overseas visits. Can you please comment on this, as well as explain once again the policies that the Government would like focus on during this extraordinary session of the Diet? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Prime Minister is scheduled to make overseas diplomatic visits which are vital for further promoting Japan’s national interests. Be that as it may, there are matters which can be deliberated at the Diet without the presence of the Prime Minister. Therefore, on this basis, during this session of the Diet, the bills that the Prime Minister noted today will be submitted and deliberations will take place regarding the necessary matters. 


REPORTER: My question concerns the policy speech. The Prime Minister did not make any direct references to the right of collective self-defense. What were the circumstances or reasons behind this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: It is exactly the same as before. A Cabinet decision has already been approved in July. In today’s policy speech, the Prime Minister reiterated that preparations would proceed to develop seamless security legislation, with a determination to secure the lives and peaceful daily lives of the people under any circumstances. One can understand that nothing has changed from before based on the Cabinet decision that was approved on this matter in July and the Prime Minister’s expression of determination in his policy speech.

REPORTER: I apologize for asking so many questions, but I have another question regarding the policy speech. With regard to Japan-China relations, the Prime Minister used the expression “stable friendly relations,” which seems to move the relations up a notch from the previous “mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests.” What was the aim behind using this expression?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Prime Minister touched on China and the Republic of Korea (ROK). The Prime Minister have stated repeatedly that both countries are partners with which Japan needs to collaborate in order to maintain peace and prosperity in this region and the world. Therefore, even if a variety of challenges exists, it is critically important that dialogues are held at various levels for strengthening our future-oriented relations. Our stance remains completely unchanged. Obviously, we will be working to deepen our relations with the two countries in a stable manner, which will build on our mutually beneficial relationships based on common strategic interests.

REPORTER: I have a question regarding this matter. Just looking at the words “stable friendly relations,” one can interpret this to mean not only stable economic relations and people-to-people exchanges but also politically stable relations. I would think this requires efforts on the part of both Japan and China. What efforts do you yourself perceive are necessary? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have been saying, first, I think that the two leaders should meet precisely because various challenges exist. In particular, China and Japan are the second and third largest economic powers in the world, respectively, and indeed have vast influence on peace and prosperity in the world. Accordingly, it is important that Japan and China consistently maintain stable relations.


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