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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

April 15, 2016 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER: I have a question concerning the inclusion of an emergency clause in the Constitution. While some people have stated that an emergency clause should be newly established, others have emphasized that existing legislation is sufficient. I realize that the Government is currently in the midst of responding to the earthquake, but given the possibility that an earthquake with an epicenter directly under Tokyo or in the Nankai Trough could occur at any time, and in light of the latest major earthquake, which was in a location few were predicting, what do you think about the necessity to swiftly engage in consideration on the inclusion of an emergency clause?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, as I have said in the past, for matters relating to the amendment of the Constitution, it is of the utmost importance to deepen understanding and discussion among the public. In an emergency situation such as the recent major disaster that has occurred, the questions of what role the Government and the public themselves should play in protecting the safety of the nation and how such a role should be positioned in the Constitution, are extremely grave and serious issues. I believe that such matters will be decided naturally in the course of concrete public debate and as understanding deepens.

REPORTER: I have a question on a different topic. Two days from now, on April 17, Prime Minister Abe will have served a cumulative total of 1,575 days in office, putting him alongside former Prime Minister Hayato Ikeda as the fifth longest-serving postwar Prime Minister. What are your thoughts on this milestone and what is your assessment of the Prime Minister’s administration to date?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: On Sunday, April 17, Prime Minister Abe will have served 1,575 days in office, which I understand is as long as the time served by former Prime Minister Hayato Ikeda. I believe that any assessment of a government administration should not be based on the length of time served, but rather on what the administration has accomplished. The Abe administration has set out the coordinates for what it needs to do, including the revitalization of the economy, and is advancing towards those objectives with a keen desire to implement reforms and exert political leadership. I believe that the Prime Minister will continue to make every effort to work towards the objectives that he has set out.


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