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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

June 25, 2015 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga




REPORTER: Yesterday, President Putin of Russia and the Prime Minister held a telephone talk. Today, some media reported that there is a proposal being floated to hold a summit meeting between President Putin and the Prime Minister on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly session in September. What is the actual status of the proposal?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I understand that nothing specific has been decided on the matter. I would like to refrain from disclosing the details of the content of the talk between the Prime Minister and the President. Nothing has been decided about the diplomatic itineraries of the Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishida, including their attendance of any international meetings. With regard to the dialogues with Russia on the margins of the multilateral meetings, we will examine in an appropriate manner.    

REPORTER: Early today the U.S. Senate passed the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill. It looks like this will accelerate the negotiations for reaching an agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Can you please share your comments?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, this bill was expected to face challenges, and there have been various twists and turns. Nonetheless, the TPA bill was passed at the plenary session of the Senate today. We genuinely welcome this. TPP represents a vital attempt to, first of all, set a world standard for the 21st century by creating new rules in the Asia-Pacific region. As such, not only the negotiating partners but countries throughout the world are following the developments closely. We believe that the passage of the TPA bill, which serves as a prerequisite for the TPP negotiations, marks significant progress. We hope that the bill is enacted at an early date following the President’s signature. We will continue to work with the relevant countries to engage in negotiations towards the swift conclusion of the TPP.


REPORTER: I have a question regarding Japan-Russia relations. In Russia, a bill has been passed that would ban drift-net fishing of salmon and trout in the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) from January of next year. What impacts will this have? What requests will the Japanese Government make to Russia? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, I understand that the bill was adopted at the upper house of Russia’s parliament. To date, the Government of Japan has requested that Russia allow Japanese fishermen to continue their activities. It is extremely regrettable that, notwithstanding this, the bill was passed at the Council of the Federation, which is the upper house, following its passage at the lower house. While the situation does not allow for optimism, yesterday Prime Minister Abe directly reiterated Japan’s requests to President Putin.

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