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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Tuesday, December 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 give an overview of the Cabinet meeting. The meeting approved six general and other measures, the promulgation of a treaty, cabinet orders, and personnel decisions. With regard to statements by ministers, the Minister of the Environment made a statement concerning the report of the Central Environment Council regarding the results of the review of the progress of the Basic Environment Plan. Prime Minister Abe made a statement concerning the entry into force of the Act on the Protection of Specially Designated Secrets. I made a statement concerning strengthening Japan’s actions to combat trafficking in persons. The Minister for Foreign Affairs made a statement concerning the emergency grant aid for the presidential by-election in the Republic of Zambia.

In ministerial discussions following the Cabinet meeting, the Minister of the Environment made a statement concerning a report on the 20th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 20).

At 2 am today, suspected cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza were found in Miyazaki Prefecture. Based on this finding, this morning, a Ministerial Meeting on Avian Influenza was held for the prompt and flexible implementation of Government responses. Prior to the meeting, the Prime Minister instructed the steady collection of information from the outbreak site, the swift implementation of thorough control measures through the close coordination of relevant ministries, including the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and the prompt provision of accurate information to the public. Bearing these instructions in mind, the ministers affirmed that the Government would work collectively to take all possible measures to prevent the spread of infection. Furthermore, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries briefed the meeting on the decision to implement necessary control measures, including culling, burial, and the establishment of movement restriction areas, among other matters. The Government will continue to take all possible measures in close coordination with the relevant ministries, recognizing that preventing the spread of avian influenza is paramount from the perspective of crisis management.

Today, a Ministerial Meeting Concerning Measures Against Crime was held before the Cabinet meeting. The Ministerial Meeting decided on a declaration for the prevention of repeated offending, “No Return to Crime, No Facilitating a Return to Crime.” In order to create a society that offenders can re-enter naturally without being removed or isolated from society, the declaration sets forth concrete numerical targets, especially those related to ensuring jobs and homes, and calls on the cooperation of the people to this end. During the meeting, the 2014 Action Plan for Measures Against Human Trafficking was also decided. During the subsequent Cabinet meeting, in order to allow the Government to press forward with the Action Plan, it was decided that the Council on Action Against Trafficking in Persons comprised of relevant ministers would be convened as needed. A whole-of-government approach will be taken towards eradicating trafficking in persons in accordance with the Action Plan. In addition, during the Ministerial Meeting, the state of international terrorism and countermeasures, among other matters, were reported. For more information, I ask that you please direct your questions to the Office of the Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary.

I have an announcement regarding the Government-Labor-Management Meeting for Realizing a Positive Cycle of the Economy. Today, a Government-Labor-Management Meeting for Realizing a Positive Cycle of the Economy was held. The meeting reached an understanding that following on from last year, the Government and the representatives of labor and management will further collaborate to sustain a positive cycle of the economy that will turn increases in corporate profits into wage increases next spring. First, the business community will exert their full efforts to achieve wage increases next spring. We consider it highly significant that the business community has agreed to implement comprehensive measures such as price pass-through, in consideration of the rising purchase prices facing partner companies. In particular, companies that have accrued high profits as a result of the advantages of the weak yen are asked to show consideration in regard to the prices paid to subcontractor companies, in addition to wage increases and capital investment. In regard to wage systems, a proposal was put forward requesting companies to emphasize the nature of the work assigned to employees and the contributions they have made, and increase allocations to the child-rearing generation. The Government has promised the people that economic recovery will be fully experienced throughout Japan, by continuing to keep this positive cycle in full motion. To that end, it is vital that the agreements reached today are implemented among the Government, labor, and management collectively. The Government is committed to working steadily in order to exit deflation and revitalize the economy.


  • The issue of the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation


REPORTER: I have a question regarding the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation. Japan and the United States had aimed to reach an agreement on the revision of the Guidelines by the end of this year. According to some media reports, however, the two countries will exchange a joint statement as early as this week and this statement will not specify a new deadline. Is this true?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, I am aware of the media reports. However, it is not true that Japan and the United States agreed on a deadline for revising the Guidelines. At this present time, we are conducting revision work in accordance with the framework and objectives presented in the recent Interim Report, based on the schedule that was agreed upon between the two countries. Japan will work on the revision of the Guidelines in tandem with our work on developing domestic legislation.

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