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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

March 2, 2016 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


REPORTER: I have a question about the sanctions resolution against North Korea at the United Nations Security Council. It appears that adoption is being delayed at the final stage. Please explain the current situation.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Security Council plans to hold an official meeting at 12:00 am on March 3 Japan time for consultations on the draft Security Council resolution against North Korea. Related countries are currently engaged in final adjustments, and this process is continuing. The Japanese Government is making its utmost efforts to achieve adoption. This is the situation.

REPORTER: I have a related question. Russia’s reluctance toward the adoption appears to be causing the delay. What are your thoughts about this aspect?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: It is true that one country has requested time to review the content of the draft resolution since the weekend. I would like to refrain from discussing further details on this matter. At any rate, I have received a report that final adjustments are taking place among related countries, and Japan continues to make its utmost efforts toward adoption.

REPORTER: Switching topic, I have a question about the presidential election in the United States. Media sources are reporting advantages in Super Tuesday voting, the first major hurdle of the presidential election, for Hilary Clinton in the Democratic Party and Donald Trump in the Republican Party. While this is an election in another country, what is the Japanese Government’s view of the situation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: This is an election in another country, exactly as you say, and while the Government is watching the results, I would like to refrain from making any comments.

REPORTER: This is related. One point that has been receiving attention this time is that almost all the candidates are voicing negative opinions about the TPP. It seems that domestic procedures for approving the TPP, a key component of Japan’s growth strategy, are likely to struggle in the United States. What are the Japanese Government’s thoughts about a response and the potential impact?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: To start, the Government is obviously paying attention to specific opinions and comments from the candidates, though I would like to refrain from making comments about individual candidates. Nevertheless, Ministers from TPP countries agreed to responsibly proceed with the domestic procedures required for effectuation and acknowledged the need for these efforts. Within this context, President Obama explained the significance of the TPP and asked Congress to give its approval in his State of the Union speech delivered in January. More recently on February 22, he mentioned a plan to submit a document regarding the TPP Agreement to Congress at some point this year and expressed optimism, albeit cautiously, about TPP approval. The Government intends to observe the situation in the hope that it is quickly achieved. Japan, for its part, plans to promptly submit related bills to the National Diet and request approval.

REPORTER: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated yesterday that Japan will establish the International Finance and Economic Assessment Council to listen to the opinions of Japanese and foreign experts ahead of the Ise-Shima Summit. Please explain the role you expect this council to play?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As Prime Minister Abe explained yesterday, he is proposing a council to listen to the views of Japanese and foreign experts on global economic and financial conditions, and to facilitate a frank exchange of opinions, on the basis that a proper response to recent global economic conditions is necessary for Japan to fulfill its responsibility as the country holding the G7 Presidency ahead of the Ise-Shima Summit. The Government hopes to make this a forum for a thorough review of global economic and financial conditions with a broad scope, including the global economy, international finance, and energy, ahead of the Ise-Shima Summit.

REPORTER: While this is being positioned as a review session, how will the results from the council be presented?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As the country holding the G7 Presidency, Japan thinks it is extremely important to properly respond to global economic conditions and analyze the situation, particularly economic and financial trends, ahead of the Summit. The Government intends to specifically select experts, including overseas experts, with emphasis on the economic, finance, and energy fields, and aims to hold about five meetings, if possible, prior to the Summit.


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