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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

April 19, 2016 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga



REPORTER: I have a question regarding the earthquake. I imagine that volunteers will be needed to alleviate the shortage of staff in the affected areas. What steps will the Government be taking to accept volunteers?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: There was an aftershock registering upper 5 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale. Taking such factors into consideration, it is important that safety is quickly ensured in consultation with the communities.

REPORTER: During the meeting of the Emergency Response Headquarters for the Earthquake Centered in the Kumamoto Region of Kumamoto Prefecture 2016 that was held a short while ago, the Prime Minister stated that within the coming days, more personnel would be mobilized to the affected municipalities which are particularly short on staff. I think the initial plan was to dispatch one or two personnel to each municipality. Does this mean that more personnel would be dispatched?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: For example, government personnel who had been assigned to perform duties related to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications are of course being dispatched. And also from the central government, a support unit of approximately 300 personnel will be mobilized. We are working with the communities to deal with the situation in many ways.


REPORTER: Toyota Motor Corporation announced that it would suspend its production line in all of Japan in stages due to the effects of the earthquake. The economic impacts are becoming serious. Do you view that the effects of the earthquake will have any impact on the decision to increase the consumption tax?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any event, the Government’s role right now, above and beyond such matters, is to work to restore the supply chains affected by the earthquake as quickly as possible.

REPORTER: Then there is no change to the intention regularly expressed by the Prime Minister regarding the decision to increase the consumption tax?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: There is no change at all.


REPORTER: I have a question concerning the Diet deliberations related to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). A short while ago today, talks were held between the Chairmen of the Diet Affairs Committees of the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party, and it was decided that this week that the Special Committee on Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement of the House of Representatives would meet only on Wednesday and Friday for general questions and answers. Considering the number of days remaining in the current Diet session, it is becoming more difficult to pass the legislation to ratify TPP and relevant legislation. Can you tell us once again whether the Government aims to pass the legislation during the current session of the Diet?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government would like adequate deliberations to take place on the TPP Agreement and the relevant legislation, and then have the agreement approved and the legislation passed during the current session of the Diet. We will seek to provide careful explanations as much as possible. However, it is up to the Diet to make decisions regarding Diet deliberations. The Government will take responses regarding the Diet deliberations in accordance with the decision of the Diet.


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