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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

May 27, 2016 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

REPORTER: I would like to ask about the assessment of the global economy at the G7 Summit. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe explained yesterday at the Summit Meeting that the global economy is confronting significant risk and mentioned resemblance to conditions prior to the Lehman Shock. While Prime Minister Abe had previously noted growing uncertainty in global economic conditions, this is the first time for him to say that the situation is similar to what was seen prior to the Lehman Shock. Why did he decide to use this expression and present this view?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In yesterday’s comments, Prime Minister Abe acknowledged the presence of some optimistic data but also cited various downside risks in his assessment of the global economy at this point. My understanding is that he used reference data to explain these risk signs.


REPORTER: Prime Minister Abe has repeatedly stated that the Government would proceed with the consumption tax hike as planned in the absence of severe conditions comparable to the Lehman Shock. I think this stance is generally being viewed as meaning the occurrence of a crisis comparable to the Lehman Shock at the time of making the decision on the tax hike. While this is still a decision that needs to be made, is postponement in order to avoid slipping into a state along the lines of the Lehman Shock also one of the deciding factors?   

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I personally am not sure. However, if such conditions existed, I think some measures would need to be taken as a response. Yet the Prime Minister has not said anything about this. In any case, I believe that he continues to approach this issue with a stance of making a suitable decision at the right timing.

REPORTER: Potential measures mentioned as responses in the case of identifying such conditions were fiscal, monetary, and structural policies. While Japan should be taking the lead in commitments and actions as the G7 Presidency, does the scope of potential measures include the tax system and changes to existing taxation besides fiscal, monetary, and structural policies?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Summit Meeting discussed fiscal, monetary, and structural policies, and I think these areas fit as a direction with the goal of helping the economy attain sustainable and robust growth.

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