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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

June 4, 2015 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER: I have a question regarding today’s hearing with experts who were invited to the meeting of the Commission on the Constitution of the House of Representatives. All three of the scholars who attended the hearing made critical remarks, stating that the security legislation is unconstitutional. Can you please share your comments? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware of such news reports. Let me also state that the security legislation currently being deliberated at the Diet was developed based on the basic policy that the Cabinet approved in July of last year.

The view outlined in the Cabinet decision is as follows. The Government’s opinion in the past had been that in light of the Preamble of the Constitution and the purpose of Article 13 of the Constitution, Japan is not prohibited from taking measures of self-defense necessary to maintain its peace and to ensure its survival, and that the use of force to the minimum extent necessary to that end is permitted. The Cabinet decision was drawn reasonably within the limit of the basic logic of this Government opinion, it is possible to draw a reasonable conclusion. The Government’s constitutional interpretation maintains legal stability and logical consistency. Accordingly, we view that the Government’s constitutional interpretation is not unconstitutional.      


REPORTER: My question is about the G7. China’s activities in the South China Sea are expected to be on the agenda. The United States, among other countries, seems to be increasingly concerned about China’s activities in the South China Sea. What discussions do you anticipate will take place in this regard?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The G7 Summit provides a forum for the respective leaders to hold a candid exchange of views. Therefore, I would like to refrain from making speculative comments about the discussions at this point in time. That said, the South China Sea issue is directly linked to regional peace and stability, and poses a concern to the international community. As such, I gather that the situation in Asia as a whole, including this issue, will be discussed among the leaders. In any case, countries must refrain from attempts to change the status quo, as well as from unilateral actions that heighten tensions. It is critically important that the rule of law be thoroughly respected, as the Prime Minister states on a daily basis. Japan will work closely with the United States and the other countries concerned.  


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