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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

February 16, 2016 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


REPORTER: The Bank of Japan (BOJ) started to apply the negative interest rate today. Please explain again the type of effect you expect from the negative interest rate.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Regarding the negative interest rate, I think the BOJ created a scheme for additional monetary easing that utilizes the three components of quantity, quality, and a negative rate. I believe the BOJ has made an appropriate decision based on exhaustive analysis of domestic and overseas economic conditions and sufficient discussions. In terms of the effect, the BOJ has explained that reduction of interest rates across the entire spectrum from short-term to long-term rates, including loan rates, should contribute positively to consumption and investment, and encourage changes in asset management, thereby helping to expand the economy. The Government intends to continue its close monitoring of market trends following adoption of the negative interest rate and watch earnestly for the effect from the latest monetary policy action.


REPORTER: I would like to ask about the Summit. There are 100 days left until the Ise-Shima Summit. What role does Japan expect to play as the host country? Also, given that the Summit is taking place in Japan, what do you intend to frame as the main topics?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government thinks it is very important for the Ise-Shima Summit to communicate a clear message to the international community on various global economic issues, including the current economic slowdown among emerging countries, as well as other issues confronting the world, such as political and diplomatic issues, climate change, energy, poverty, and development. The Government also believes that it is necessary for the various G7 countries to accelerate preparations and coordination in order to have a fruitful summit with frank consultations among the leaders. I expect Prime Minister Abe to exhibit strong leadership in his role as the head of the country holding the G7 Presidency. I also anticipate cooperation by the Government with Mie Prefecture, which is the host area. The Government will work in a unified manner to ensure the event is a success.

REPORTER: This is related. What is your view of the importance of anti-terrorism measures, including cyber attacks? Some recent cases of overseas terrorism have aimed for soft targets. Please explain your thoughts on anti-terrorism measures in light of this point.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government is currently working on anti-terrorism measures by closely cooperating with the international community and retaining an awareness of the threat, particularly because we are hosting the Summit, which is the most closely watched meeting in the world. I think intelligence gathering and analysis is most important for anti-terrorism measures and to prevent acts ahead of time. At the end of last year, Japan created an International Counter-Terrorism Intelligence Collection Office  and an International Counter-Terrorism Intelligence Collection Unit . I expect the Government to address international terrorism with its utmost efforts under the direct jurisdiction of the Prime Minister’s Office. Paris suffered multiple simultaneous terrorist acts with tragic consequences in November 2015 against so-called soft targets, as you just mentioned, which can include public transportation where many ordinary people gather. I believe police authorities must put their full efforts into surveillance and protection, given such events, and ensure proper coordination on a regular basis with facility managers of effective and enhanced patrols by employees and security staff, crime-prevention camera installations, and reporting to police when suspicious people or objects are discovered.


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