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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

May 24, 2016 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga



REPORTER: I have a question regarding the G7 Summit. With economics being the leading topic, I imagine that focus will be on whether the leaders will be able to agree on economic coordination, the centerpiece of which will be fiscal stimulus. There were differences of opinion between Japan and the other G7 members at the G7 Finance Ministers’ Meeting and when the Prime Minister visited some of the countries earlier. I understand that agreement still has not been reached. Given this situation, how does Japan, as the G7 President, intend to bring leaders to an agreement and send out a strong message?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, with the world economy becoming more opaque, it is critically important that the G7 work together to show that we are taking responses. Therefore, at the Ise-Shima Summit, we expect that fruitful discussions will take place on not only fiscal policy, but also, as I often state, monetary policy, fiscal policy, and structural reform—how to implement them in a balanced manner while reflecting the situation of each country. In addition, we expect that the G7 will issue a strong message for realizing the sustainable and robust growth of the world economy under the leadership of the G7. I have stated this from before. At the Ise-Shima Summit, I anticipate that the leaders will engage in thorough discussions to produce these outcomes.

REPORTER: I have a related question. Two days ago, when you visited the venue of the Ise-Shima Summit, you stated that the Prime Minister would also take the summit discussions among the leaders into consideration to make an appropriate decision regarding the consumption tax increase. Let’s say that the countries fail to reach an agreement on fiscal stimulus. How will this affect the Prime Minister’s decision?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: What I said was simply what the Prime Minister has stated from before, which is that the economic policies discussed at the summit will be one of the items the Prime Minister will consider in making an appropriate decision.

REPORTER: I would like to ask about President Barack Obama’s visit to Hiroshima. The Government of Japan will not be seeking an apology for the U.S. atomic bombings. Can you tell us whether or not the Government perceives that the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in and of themselves were a violation of international law?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government regards that the atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki resulted in the loss of many innocent lives and caused hardships that words cannot express, including illnesses and disabilities, creating a humanitarian catastrophe. In this context, as we have stated from before, the Government considers that the use of nuclear weapons, due to their massive destructive and killing power, is not in line with the spirit of humanitarianism that forms the ideological foundation of international law. In any case, as the only country to have ever suffered atomic bombings, Japan will continue to proactively steer the international community’s realistic and practical efforts aimed at realizing a peaceful and secure world without nuclear weapons, ensuring that nuclear weapons that could have catastrophic consequences on humankind will never be utilized again.

REPORTER: This is a related question. Some media have reported that the Japanese and U.S. Governments are making arrangements to invite survivors to the wreath laying at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park when President Obama visits Hiroshima. Is it true that this is being considered?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, Japan and the United States are now coordinating the specific logistics, and the details have yet to be finalized. Therefore, I would like to refrain from disclosing them.


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