Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  October 2014 >  Thursday, October 23, 2014 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, October 23, 2014 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations
  • The Secretary General of national Security Secretariat’s visit to the ROK
  • The incident of a shooting at the Parliament in Canada
  • The Guideline for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation
  • The issue concerning abduction

REPORTER: I have a question regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). A TPP ministerial meeting will be held soon in Sydney. What are the implications of the meeting for the realization of a broad agreement? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, a short while ago, a Meeting amongst Main Ministers on the TPP was held. During the meeting, discussion took place in preparation for the ministerial meeting in Sydney. Furthermore, between Japan and the United States, on October 15, Prime Minister Abe and President Obama held telephone talks. Both leaders agreed that the two countries would work together to achieve an early conclusion of the negotiations. To date, officials at the working-level have been working to narrow the differences between the two countries. The upcoming ministerial meeting that starts on the 25th represents a critically important meeting for achieving the early conclusion of the TPP negotiations. The ministers will aim to resolve the political issues, bearing in mind the outcomes of the TPP talks in Canberra. In a sense, the last step of the negotiations is the most difficult. As such, all negotiating partners must work together in close coordination to deliver the final results.

REPORTER: I have a related question. The chair country, Australia, has said that the meeting will aim to reach an accord on basic elements of the TPP agreement. How should this “accord on basic elements” be understood?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, all of the partners are eager to conclude the TPP negotiations as quickly as possible. That is the general sentiment among the countries involved. At the same time, the issues have been narrowed down to those such as market access, intellectual property, and disciplines on state-owned enterprises. However, as these issues concern matters to which countries are sensitive, the negotiations are expected to be difficult. All ministers will be attending the meeting under such circumstances. We anticipate that the ministers will make the final arrangements with a view to solving the political issues.      

REPORTER: I believe that a short while ago, Secretary General Yachi of the National Security Secretariat was here at the Prime Minister’s Office to report on his visit to the Republic of Korea (ROK). What did the Secretary General report? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Secretary General Yachi visited the ROK and met with key ROK officials, including his counterpart, the Chief of the National Security Office. We were briefed on the content of the meetings.  

REPORTER: Can you please elaborate a little further, including any information about the possibility of a Japan-ROK summit meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to refrain from disclosing the details as this is a diplomatic matter.

REPORTER: I have a question related to this matter. Minister of Foreign Affairs Yun Byung-se of the ROK has said that the situation may worsen if a summit meeting is held when the conditions are not ripe. The Foreign Minister said that there have been setbacks every day in terms of the issue of Japan’s recognition of history, and that it is important for Japan to demonstrate sincerity on the “comfort women” issue. Can you please comment? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: This has long been the stance of the ROK side. I do not think there is anything more to it. We have already made Japan’s position clear.

REPORTER: There was a shooting at the Parliament in Canada, which is believed to have been an act of terrorism. There has been speculation that the incident was motivated by resentment towards the Canadian Government’s response to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Although the Japanese Government’s response to ISIL is different from Canada’s, what are the chances that a terrorist attack like this one may occur in Japan?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We have not received specific information regarding any terrorist activity in Japan. With regard to international terrorism countermeasures, the Government and the relevant ministries and agencies are doing everything necessary, working together to implement border control measures, including measures to prevent the entry of terrorists into Japan, as well as collecting domestic and overseas intelligence. We are making every effort to prevent such incidents from occurring in Japan. As of this moment in time, we have not received information regarding any such terrorist activity.

REPORTER: My question concerns a different matter. Can you please tell us what was discussed at yesterday’s Security Council meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Discussion took place on the overall situation in Asia.

REPORTER: Can you please be a little more specific?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: That is all I can say as this concerns Japan’s security.


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question about the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation. As has also been reported by some parts of the media and other sources, while Japan and the United States agreed at a 2+2 Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee meeting to compile a final report by the end of December, U.S. Government officials have expressed the view that this will be postponed until at least April of next year. This is so that the report can include the arrangements that will be made to domestic security legislation. What is the current status of the considerations? In terms of the content and the deadline, what are your present thoughts regarding the agreed December deadline?  

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I myself have not been informed of this intention. In any case, as both sides agreed at the 2+2 in October 2013 to complete the revision work by the end of 2014, I understand that the two countries are working on the report based on that deadline.

REPORTER: I have a related question. I gather that the state of domestic security legislation overall, or the ties between the Guidelines and domestic legislation will be extremely important. Hypothetically, if it were the case that progress were not made on the arrangements on domestic security legislation, do you think the two countries should or should not stick to the December deadline of the Guidelines?  

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any case, the outlook for the Guidelines and the development of domestic legislation obviously need to proceed hand-in-hand. My understanding at this time is that we are revising the Guidelines based on the initial plan that we decided upon.   

REPORTER: I have a question regarding the abduction issue. You said that if North Korea does not present adequate explanations during the Japanese delegation’s visit to North Korea, then Japan would request that North Korea take sincere measures. If it is determined that North Korea’s response lacked sincerity, is there a possibility that Japan would restore the sanctions that it has lifted? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, we do not expect to receive any detailed investigation results during the visit. This was understood during the recent government-level meeting. Japan needs to make it clear to the official responsible from the Special Investigation Committee of North Korea that the abduction issue is the absolute priority of the negotiations. Japan will also inquire as to how the investigations are actually taking place. Therefore, it is not just about the results. We believe we need to make it known to the so-called official responsible from North Korea how serious Japan is about the abduction issue. That is why we are entering into negotiations. I would like to refrain from commenting on what will happen beyond this point. In any case, in principle, Japan’s basic policy is “dialogue and pressure” and “action for action.” We will take steps that are consistent with this policy. 

Page Top

Related Link