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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

October 27, 2015 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga



REPORTER: On a different topic, there are press reports that a United States vessel may enter within 12 nautical miles of the artificial islands in the South China Sea. What is the Government’s view of this matter and does the Government support the actions of the United States as an allied country?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to refrain from commenting on specific U.S. military operations. If I were to say anything further it would be to note that taking unilateral actions that change the status quo and increase tensions by undertaking large-scale land reclamation or the construction of bases in the South China Sea is a matter of shared concern for the international community. The Government believes, and the Prime Minister himself has consistently stated, that it is extremely important for the international community to coordinate in order to preserve open, free and peaceful seas.


REPORTER: In a meeting with President Obama of the United States, President Joko of Indonesia, who is currently on a visit to the United States, has indicated his desire for Indonesia to participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. Can I ask for your thoughts on moves by Indonesia, a very populous country, to seek to participate in the TPP?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the TPP will create high-level trade and investment rules in the Asia-Pacific region for the 21st Century, and it is envisaged that the agreement will grow broader in the future, with increasing numbers of countries and regions from the Asia-Pacific region participating. Countries and regions seeking to take part will need to express their intention officially with an indication that they are prepared to satisfy the high levels of the TPP agreement and the current TPP participating countries, including Japan, will decide for or against, on that basis. I am aware that Indonesia has expressed a strong interest in participating in the TPP and the Government will continue to watch the status of considerations in Indonesia going forward.


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