Skip to main content

Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  February 2016 >  February 10, 2016 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

February 10, 2016 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

1. Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

Tomorrow (February 11) is National Foundation Day. Prime Minister Abe issued a message for this holiday that I will summarize now. The Prime Minister’s message explains that this holiday, which was introduced two years ago, aims to widely communicate the significance of National Foundation Day and celebrate it together. It serves as an opportunity to express gratitude for the efforts of our predecessors and to reaffirm our resolve to strengthen our country.

2. Q&As

REPORTER: I would like to ask about Japan’s own sanctions against North Korea that the Government is currently preparing. I believe you held a meeting regarding North Korea with Prime Minister Abe, Foreign Minister Kishida, and Minister Kato just after noon today. Could you explain what was confirmed or decided at the meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I cannot comment on specifics because we are currently at the stage of making preparations for a swift decision on the content of detailed measures.

REPORTER: This is related. Minister Kato met with families of abduction victims two days ago. Was there a discussion of opinions and assertions expressed by the families of abduction victims at the meeting held today?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to refrain from commenting on details because we are still making preparations.

REPORTER: I have a question about the economy. Regarding stock prices, the Nikkei 225 Average closed below the key level of 16,000 yen today. The yen is also appreciating. Please explain what you think about these trends.
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government is watching market trends very closely. While I do not intend to comment on specific movements of individual stock prices, the Government is aware of widening risk aversion in the global financial markets and the fact that it is affecting Japanese markets. However, the global economy as a whole is currently in a moderate recovery trend, and it is expected that this moderate recovery will last going forward due to continuation of recoveries in the United States and other countries. The Government is monitoring domestic and overseas conditions without being overly influenced by stock price fluctuations, while cooperating with the G7 and related countries. We intend to promptly implement the supplementary budget that was recently approved and also work towards approval of the main budget as quickly as possible. Within this context, we aim to solidify a positive cycle in the real economy. We are making our utmost efforts based on this approach.

REPORTER: This is related. You have mentioned the large role of external factors in the Japanese economy in your descriptions of the current economic situation. Some market players believe that the policy options of the Government and the Bank of Japan (BoJ) have narrowed, particularly in light of what is being discussed as a limited effect on stock prices in the short term from the rollout of a negative interest rate. What are your thoughts about this view?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, BoJ Governor Kuroda has regularly said that the Bank will take the measures needed to achieve the price stability target without hesitation. From this perspective, the Bank recently added an easing option for interest rates with a negative interest rate after carefully analyzing market conditions. I think this policy action demonstrated the Bank’s strong resolve in efforts to overcome deflation. The Government has a favorable view of this stance, and I think the BoJ and the Government will continue to work jointly to promote economic growth with the aim of defeating deflation, while closely monitoring market trends.


REPORTER: Changing topic to the Zika virus, China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission announced that a 34-year old man returning from a trip to Venezuela, South America, was infected with the Zika virus. With the virus occurring so close to Japan, does the Government plan to maintain existing border countermeasures?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I explained before, the Government is putting its utmost efforts into border-level countermeasures against the Zika virus and we are currently building out this stance.


Page Top

Related Link