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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

May 12, 2016 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


REPORTER: Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) has entered the final stages of negotiations to effectively come under the control of Nissan Motor Corporation (NMC), following a downturn in business and management due to the issue of falsification of fuel consumption data. A Nissan executive has recently come to meet with you, so could you tell us what sort of report he provided and what the Government’s understanding of the current situation is?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I have recently received a visit from Mr. Hitoshi Kawaguchi, Senior Vice President of NMC. With regard to the press reports about the tie-up between the companies, this and other issues are being deliberated and will be discussed in board meetings of both companies today. At the current point, therefore, nothing has been decided.

REPORTER: I have a related question. If this merger goes ahead it will mean that the automobile manufacturing sector in Japan will become more concentrated around the three major groups of Toyota, Honda and Nissan. The issue of falsification of fuel consumption data at MMC has therefore resulted in an intensification of realignment within the auto industry as a whole. The auto industry is a critical industry to the Japanese economy so can I ask for your views on this point?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As the boards of both companies concerned are still engaged in a process of discussion over various issues, at the current point I would like to refrain from making any comment as a representative of the Government.

REPORTER: Yesterday it was reported by The Guardian newspaper of the United Kingdom that French police authorities are investigating a case of suspected corruption involving Mr. Lamine Diack, a former honorary member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the possibility that the Tokyo 2020 Bid Committee previously made a payment of approximately 160 million yen to the Singapore bank account of Mr. Diack’s son. Could you tell us whether the Government will be cooperating with the French authorities in their investigation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am unaware of such reports and my recognition is that the Tokyo 2020 bid was conducted in a clean manner. In any event, if a request is made by the police authorities of France the Government will respond appropriately, based on the content of the request.


REPORTER: It has been reported that the Japanese National Commission for UNESCO (JNCU) has decided to dispatch Japanese experts to attend the General Meeting of the Memory of the World Committee for Asia and the Pacific (MOWCAP), which is scheduled to be held in Vietnam. Could you tell us the veracity of these reports and if they are true, the aim in dispatching experts to the meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the Government is planning to dispatch a total of three experts to the upcoming General Meeting of MOWCAP, including Prof. Mitsuru Haga of Tohoku University, who serves as a member of the Memory of the World Nomination Committee of JNCU. The Government is also planning on sending officials from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Archives of Japan to attend the meeting. As a responsible member of UNESCO, Japan seeks to participate actively in deliberations at the meeting. An urgent task is also to reform structures that will ensure fairness and transparency, in order to ensure that the Memory of the World program is not used for overtly political purposes. The Government seeks to make every effort at the upcoming meeting to achieve such structural reforms.


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