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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

January 9, 2015 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

I would like to give an overview of the extraordinary Cabinet meeting. The meeting approved one general measure. In statements by ministers, the Minister of Finance made a statement concerning the FY2014 supplementary budget.

Prior to the Cabinet meeting, the National Security Council held a meeting. Today's meeting reviewed major items in the development of defense capabilities in FY2014. The decisions made are as shown in the distributed material in front of you.


  • The supplementary budget

REPORTER: I have a question concerning the supplementary budget. The proportion of the supplementary budget allotted to defense expenditure has continued to increase under the Abe administration. This time as well the budget allocation has increased significantly to double that of the previous year. Given that the supplementary budget is intended for urgent economic measures, could you tell us about the reasons behind the increase in defense expenditure?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, with regard to the draft supplementary budget, I wonder if it really makes sense to compare this supplementary budget with that of the previous year. Regarding defense-related expenditure in the supplementary budget, based on the Cabinet decision of December 27 last year, the supplementary budget includes items relating to mobilization costs for the Self-Defense Forces (SDF), such as fuel expenses, as well as items for improving the SDF’s disaster response capabilities. The supplementary budget incorporates items that are deemed necessary as and when they arise, and therefore I do not think it makes sense to compare this supplementary budget with that of the previous year.

REPORTER: The Cabinet has approved the supplementary budget. Can I once again ask what effects the Government is aiming to achieve through its implementation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: This supplementary budget was approved by the Cabinet on December 27 last year as a measure to respond to the underlying economic situation. The supplementary budget includes emergency economic measures amounting to 3.5 trillion aimed at expanding the positive economic cycle to local regions around Japan. In specific terms, the supplementary budget is aimed at firmly establishing a positive cycle of the economy, and ensuring that the effects of Abenomics are more widely felt among regional communities. The budget specifically targets economically vulnerable areas with a sense of urgency. In particular, in the budget allocation the Government prioritized such areas as support for consumers and businesses based on the economic situation, regional revitalization through effective measures to deal with structural issues being faced by regional communities, and response to disasters and crises through acceleration of disaster recovery and reconstruction.

REPORTER: I have a related question. The Government will implement economic measures through the allocation of the supplementary budget, as you have just pointed out. However, I believe that the success or failure of Abenomics will hinge primarily on regulatory reform. Could you tell us about the posture of the Abe Cabinet with regard to future regulatory reform?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Regulatory and administrative reforms are extremely important. There is absolutely no change in the Government’s stance to make every possible effort to address these issues and to work steadily to produce results.

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