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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

June 30, 2015 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga


On July 4, the Government of Japan will welcome the five leaders of the Mekong region countries, namely the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, and the Seventh Mekong-Japan Summit will be held at the State Guest House in Tokyo. With a view to realizing the ASEAN Community by the end of 2015, an important challenge is to narrow the development gap within the ASEAN region. To that end, the realization of “quality growth” in the Mekong region through “quality infrastructure development” will be essential. At the summit meeting, a new strategy for Japan-Mekong cooperation will be formulated and Japan will provide assistance towards the realization of this strategy. In addition, taking the opportunity of their attendance at the summit meeting, H.E. Mr. Samdech Akka Maha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia, is scheduled to visit Kitakyushu and Yamaguchi and H.E. Mr. Thongsing Thammavong, Prime Minister of the Lao PDR is scheduled to visit Kyoto. The Government aims to ensure that this summit meeting further strengthens the relations between Japan and the Mekong region.


REPORTER: I have a question concerning Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) relations. Yesterday Mr. Shinsuke Sugiyama, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, stated that it is possible that a Japan-ROK summit meeting could be realized at the United Nations General Assembly in the autumn. Are specific arrangements currently being made with this aim in mind?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In the first place, nothing has been decided concerning a summit meeting. If I were to say anything further, it would be to note that our door is always open for dialogue, and there is no change to the Government’s stance that the two leaders should engage in open dialogue without any preconditions. However, in the recent Japan-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, it was agreed that the two countries should work together to realize a Japan-ROK Summit Meeting at an appropriate time. Although nothing has been decided yet, there is no change to the situation in which the two countries will cooperate to achieve a summit meeting at an appropriate time.


REPORTER: I have a question concerning the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. President Obama has officially signed the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill into law. Could I ask for the Government’s view of this development?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government would like to sincerely welcome the passage of the TPA bill, which is a prerequisite for reaching a successful conclusion to the TPP negotiations. Japan will continue to engage in cooperation with the countries concerned, making every effort to achieve a swift conclusion to TPP negotiations.


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