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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

March 1, 2016 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga


From Tuesday, March 8 to Friday, March 11, 2016, H.E. Mr. Sauli Niinistö, President of the Republic of Finland and his wife will visit Japan on an Official Working Visit. Prime Minister Abe will hold a meeting with President Niinistö and also host a dinner. Finland is an ally of Japan and the two countries share the same fundamental values. Finland is also a country that has a high degree of knowledge and good results in tackling challenges that are priorities for the Abe administration, including innovation and the promotion of the active participation of women in society. The Government hopes that through this visit the strategic cooperative relationship with Finland will be strengthened. Furthermore, President Niinistö will be accompanied by a business delegation on his visit and it is expected that this opportunity will further strengthen cooperation between Japanese and Finnish companies.


REPORTER: I have a question about various statistics. The status for the October to December 2015 quarter that was announced today showed a year-on-year increase of 8.5 percent in plant and equipment investment, and the ratio of job offers to job seekers rose to 1.28. However, consumer expenditure fell below market expectations, decreasing by 3.1 percent. Looking at the overall situation, what are your views on the current trends in the economy?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Looking at the situation as a whole, as you have just noted, my recognition is that the employment situation is gradually improving. However, there are weaknesses in the overseas economy and it will be necessary to continue closely monitoring the impact on employment that a downturn in the emerging economies of Asia, including China, and resource-rich economies may have. Furthermore, with regard to the financial statistics of corporations in Japan, the figures for the October to December 2015 quarter are the third highest ever on a quarterly basis, with the combined quarterly results for 2015 being the highest ever. In my opinion this demonstrates that the Japanese economy continues to be on a sound footing.

REPORTER: According to some press reports today there are plans to hold a conference to analyze the state of the global economy, prior to the G7 Ise-Shima Summit. Could you tell us about the status of considerations on this matter, including who will participate and when the conference will take place?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, as the chair of the G7 Ise-Shima Summit, the Government has a strong sense of the necessity to respond appropriately to the current global economic situation. It is based on this view that the Prime Minister has proposed to hold a conference that will hear opinions from economic experts both from Japan and overseas about the global economic and financial situation. Consideration is currently being given to such a conference. I will provide an explanation once the details are finalized.


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