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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

December 18, 2015 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga



REPORTER: The draft supplementary budget was adopted as a Cabinet decision. What were the objectives of forming this supplementary budget? In addition, could you please explain which items were given weight in formulating this budget?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: This past autumn, at the press conference following the Prime Minister’s reappointment as President of the Liberal Democratic Party, the Prime Minister set forth the major goal of realizing a society in which all citizens are dynamically engaged, and stated that the Abe administration would tackle the structural issues of the declining birthrate and aging population head on in order to achieve a strong economy. Furthermore, as an agreement was in principle reached on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement in October, we have the vital task of ensuring that the TPP truly contributes to the revitalization of the Japanese economy and to the vitalization of local economies. The supplementary budget was tailored to meet these needs.


REPORTER: On the 15th, Prime Minister Abe attended a lunch with Japanese-speaking ambassadors to Japan. I understand that 24 ambassadors attended this lunch. Why was a lunch held with the Japanese-speaking ambassadors? What was its significance?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In fact, the Prime Minister exchanges views with various ambassadors from around the world on a day-to-day basis in order to gain their understanding regarding the policies of the Abe administration. To this end, the Prime Minister attends, for example, regional meetings, as well as ambassadors’ meetings. I perceive that it was in this context that the Prime Minister conversed with the Japanese-speaking ambassadors.


REPORTER: At today’s Monetary Policy Meeting (MPM), the Bank of Japan (BoJ) announced measures to boost large-scale monetary easing. Could you please share your comments on these measures?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I believe two types of measures were decided at the BoJ’s MPM today. The first is measures to support firms that are proactive in making investment in physical and human capital. The second is measures to facilitate the smooth implementation of quantitative and qualitative monetary easing. My understanding is that it was these measures that were decided. I gather that appropriate judgments were made. We expect the BoJ to continue to make further efforts towards achieving the price stability target, taking into account economic activity and prices.


REPORTER: I would like to change the subject. I am sorry to keep asking this, but I have a question regarding the air pollution in China. The situation has remained serious, with the Government of Beijing City issuing a pollution alert of the highest level, which will take effect over four days beginning the 19th. As you also explained, I understand that Japan’s stance is to spare no effort in cooperation. With Japanese nationals in China and Japanese companies being greatly affected, will the Japanese Government be considering any new responses?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, I am of course aware that the highest-level pollution alert has been issued. The Government of Japan has continued to steadily provide appropriate information to Japanese nationals in China. In Japan, no noticeable increases in the concentration of air pollution have been observed as of now. While it is not anticipated that Japan will be significantly affected, we will continue to steadily make all the preparations that we can, while closely following the situation.

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