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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

April 13, 2016 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER: I have a related question. With the Ise-Shima Summit and the House of Councillors elections coming up, can you once again explain the significance of passing the legislation seeking ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which you identify as a pillar of the growth strategy, and relevant legislation during the current session of the Diet?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, the TPP is an attempt to create a free and fair single economic sphere by establishing 21st century-type new common rules for the Pacific. This will create a vast market comprising 40% of the world’s GDP and 800 million people. According to preliminary estimates from the end of last year, the TPP is forecasted to generate economic impacts that would increase Japan’s real GDP by approximately 14 trillion yen. In addition, consumers will gain access to various products from the sphere cheaply, easily, and safely. We regard that the TPP will also provide new opportunities to farmers to expand the channels for selling agricultural products that are high quality and popular overseas. Furthermore, the TPP has strategic significance in that it will deepen economic ties and expand networks among countries and regions that share universal values, such as freedom, democracy, rule of law, and basic human rights. For these reasons, the Government considers it important to have the TPP agreement actually entered into force and to realize its effects. The Government will make efforts to swiftly resume the deliberations and have the legislation approved and passed during the current session of the Diet.


REPORTER: I have a question in relation to the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. China is dissatisfied about the statement of the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting that makes reference to the South China Sea issue, and has lodged protests to senior officials and others of the embassies of the G7 countries in Beijing. While my questions are repetitive, could you please clarify whether the statement expresses the consensus of the G7 and what responses will be sought from relevant countries including China?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Statement  represents the consensus of the G7 countries. We expect all relevant countries including China to take the statement sincerely.

REPORTER: A related question. China has requested that the South China Sea issue not be included in the agenda of the Ise-Shima Summit, giving the excuse of improving the China-Japan relationship. What impacts on the Japan-China relationship do you expect from reflecting the outcomes of the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in the Ise-Shima Summit?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, it has been eight years since the Summit was last held in Asia. At the Ise-Shima Summit, we hope thorough discussions will take place also on issues concerning Asia, such as the issues of North Korea and maritime security, in light of the outcomes of the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Hiroshima.

REPORTER: What about the aspect of Japan-China relations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: It seems logical that thorough discussions take place on maritime security among the G7.

REPORTER: In the lead-up to the expiration of the term of office of United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the end of this year, public dialogues to hear the views of the candidates began on the 12th. I understand that member states will also be asking questions to the candidates. Can you once again tell us what Japan’s policy is regarding the selection of the new Secretary-General?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, informal dialogues  with the candidates who have formally declared their candidacies for the next UN Secretary-General are being held at the UN General Assembly from April 12 to 14. This is the first time that the UN General Assembly is conducting hearings with the candidates for the selection process of the Secretary-General. Japan will continue to be proactively involved in the selection process of the next Secretary-General, while making proper use of these informal dialogues and working with other Security Council members. In addition, Japan expects that an individual who can exercise both leadership and organizational management skills in a well-balanced manner, and who is suited for the position of the next UN Secretary-General, will be selected.


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