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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

December 1, 2015 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga


Prime Minister Abe will visit India from December 11 to 13. This will be Prime Minister Abe’s third visit to India as Prime Minister, following his previous visit to India in January 2014. Prime Minister Abe will hold a summit meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in order to further strengthen the cooperative relations between the two countries in a wide range of areas, including politics and security, economics and economic cooperation, and people-to-people exchanges, and expand and deepen the Japan-India special strategic and global partnership. In addition, Japanese representatives from a range of sectors, including the business community, will visit India at the same time as the Prime Minister’s visit. We expect that this visit will contribute to further enhancing Japan-India relations in a variety of sectors.



REPORTER: I have a question related to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF held an Executive Board meeting, and formally decided to include China’s renminbi (RMB) in the base currencies that make up the Special Drawing Right (SDR), a reserve asset for loaning funds to member countries. What is the Government’s view of this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Precisely as you just stated, I understand that by reviewing against the IMF’s existing criteria, the IMF’s Executive Board decided to include the RMB in the basket of currencies that make up the SDR. Japan perceives that the IMF’s Executive Board made this decision from the standpoint of reflecting the importance of the currencies that make up the SDR, which is a foreign currency reserve asset for international trade and the financial system, and Japan will respect this decision.

REPORTER: I have a related question. In making this decision, Managing Director Christine Lagarde of the IMF stated that the decision is an important milestone in the integration of the Chinese economy into the global financial system. Do you expect that this decision will lead to the further liberalization of China’s financial market?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, the latest decision limits the holding of the RMB by the public entities of IMF member countries, and the RMB will not be utilized for private transactions. While the Government deems that the RMB’s inclusion in the basket of SDR currencies has symbolic meaning, we deem that it will not have direct impact on the world’s economic and capital transactions in which private transactions make up a considerable share.

REPORTER: I would like to change the subject. Prime Minister Abe held informal talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey on the margins of the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), which is currently underway in Paris. In connection with the deteriorating relations between Russia and Turkey, Prime Minister Abe offered to serve as their mediator, urging President Erdogan to let the Prime Minister know if there is anything he could do, or if there is anything the President wanted the Prime Minister to convey to President Putin. Does the Prime Minister have specific plans for the near future for encouraging President Putin to improve relations with Turkey?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, as you just stated in your question, in the context of the challenging circumstances facing Turkey’s relations with Russia, Prime Minister Abe stated that President Erdogan should feel free to let the Prime Minister know if there is anything Japan can do. Simultaneously, the Prime Minister conveyed that the respective countries need to stand united against terrorism. President Erdogan responded that Turkey had not wished for this situation, that countries need to stand united in the fight against terrorism, and that he completely agreed on the necessity for countries to stand united. In addition, the President stated that Turkey does not wish for the situation with Russia to escalate. The Prime Minister stated that if the opportunity were to present itself, he would convey to President Putin what President Erdogan stated, which is as I just explained.


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