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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

April 21, 2015 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga



  • TPP ministerial-level consultations

REPORTER: I have a question regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Ministerial-level consultations between Japan and the United States continued intermittently until the early hours of this morning. Did the meeting make any major progress?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Minister Amari briefed me a short while ago. Minister Amari stated that the ministers continued to hold rigorous consultations based on the working-level consultations. Thanks to the efforts made by both sides all through the night, we have considerably narrowed the gap between our two countries. However, issues remain over agriculture products, including rice and motor vehicles. Therefore, further efforts are needed to reach an agreement. The ministers in charge from both countries instructed their respective teams to continue working to address the remaining issues. This is what I was briefed by Minister Amari. The negotiations are in the final stage. We will continue to make our strongest efforts towards the early conclusion of the TPP, aiming to maximize Japan’s national interests.  

REPORTER: I have a related question. Did the meeting produce any outcomes that can be confirmed during the Japan-U.S. summit meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I gather that next week, during the Japan-U.S. summit meeting, Prime Minister Abe and President Obama will affirm the strategic importance of the TPP, which promises prosperity and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, and affirm that the two sides will continue to work together for the early conclusion of the negotiations. I imagine that no negotiations will take place on the specific content of the TPP during the summit-level meeting.


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