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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

March 2, 2016 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


REPORTER: I have a question about collaboration among financial authorities. The Financial Supervisory Agency (FSA), the Ministry of Finance (MoF), and the Bank of Japan (BoJ) held a first meeting for information exchanges about global financial and capital markets today, and they intend to make this a regular practice. Please explain the aim of this.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Risk-aversion activity has been affecting financial markets worldwide, mainly driven by overseas factors, and similar trends appeared in Japanese markets too over the past few weeks. My understanding is that the meeting was arranged with the aim of periodically exchanging opinions and promoting closer cooperation to facilitate suitable responses if needed, in the context of monitoring of market trends by these authorities, which handle administrative matters related to domestic and overseas financial and capital markets, against this backdrop. The Government intends to continue its careful monitoring of market trends while strengthening information exchanges among these policy authorities and collaborating with the international community. This meeting will fundamentally be held at a pace of about once per month and should become a mechanism that contributes to necessary collaboration in monitoring market trends.


REPORTER: I have a question about revisions to the Constitution. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated at a meeting of the Budget Committee of the House of Councillors that he aims to achieve revisions to the Constitution during his tenure. Please explain the timing of the revisions and the revision items the administration is considering.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I heard Prime Minister Abe’s comments at the Committee meeting too. I think the following is what he said. Revising the Constitution has been a platform of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) since its formation, and the LDP already prepared a draft for a revised Constitution. Prime Minister Abe stated that while this is a major goal for the LDP, it is important to obtain the support of many parties and groups, not only the ruling coalition, as well as the understanding of the general public. He also noted that the specific revision content and timing, such as which articles and when revisions would occur, depends on the depth of the national discussion and understanding. Additionally, he mentioned that many opposition parties, not only the ruling parties, need to support the revisions because the ruling parties do not control a two-thirds majority. Thus I think his comments were roughly the same as those on previous occasions.


REPORTER: The Embassy of Japan in Vietnam announced an agreement with Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training on a policy for making Japanese a first foreign language alongside English at elementary schools throughout Vietnam. This is the first case of adoption of Japanese language education at the primary level in Southeast Asia. Please explain the aim of this effort from a long-term perspective.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Embassy of Japan in Vietnam and Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training have been discussing wider adoption of Japanese language education for some time. They agreed this time on experimental provision of Japanese language classes at elementary schools in Vietnam. Specifically, I have heard that the Embassy of Japan in Vietnam, the Consulate General of Japan in Ho Chi Minh, and The Japan Foundation will cooperate with Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training for two Japanese language classes each at three elementary schools in Hanoi on an experimental basis starting this fiscal year. There are also plans to move toward expansion of the program throughout Vietnam depending on the results. I think wider use of the Japanese language abroad is very important for increased understanding of Japan and reinforcement of friendly relations with other countries, and the Government welcomes this development and intends to reinforce further initiatives.

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