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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday, October 27, 2014 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement
  • The issue of the abductions

REPORTER: I have a question regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The TPP Ministers Meeting in Australia has come to a close, during which there were vigorous consultations between Japan and the United States. It is said that concrete and important progress was made in these consultations, so could you tell us what progress was achieved and the Government’s evaluation of the recent meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, I would like to receive a report from Minister Amari concerning the details of the meeting upon his return to Japan. In the Minister’s press conference, he noted that he had engaged in bilateral consultations with all ministers attending the meeting, including United States Trade Representative Michael Froman, and that although some progress had been made between Japan and the United States, there were still issues remaining, and the two sides had confirmed that consultations would continue. In any event, Japan will continue to make efforts towards a near term settlement that ensures our national interests.

REPORTER: I have a related question. Arrangements are being made for the leaders of countries involved in TPP negotiations to meet at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting. Is it expected that this meeting will lead to an outcome in TPP negotiations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: What I have heard is that a further ministers’ meeting will be held at the time of the APEC ministerial meeting. I expect that leaders will discuss the TPP when they gather for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, but the specifics of such a meeting are still being worked out.


REPORTER: I have a question concerning the abduction issue, which came up in this morning’s press conference. The delegation from Japan has departed Beijing for Pyongyang. Have you heard whether the delegation is likely to be able to meet the chair of the Special Investigation Committee, Mr. So Tae Ha?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I have not received a report on this matter. However, the reason the delegation, including Mr. Junichi Ihara, Director General of the Asian and Oceanian Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is travelling to North Korea is because it was judged to be of extreme importance to emphasize directly to those responsible for the Special Investigation Committee in North Korea that the abduction issue is a top priority for the Government of Japan. Therefore I expect that the delegation will meet with persons responsible.

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