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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

July 12, 2016 (PM)

If you can not view the video,click here(Japanese Government Internet TV)
Simultaneous interpretation services for this video are provided by a third party.

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


REPORTER: I have a question concerning the South China Sea issue. The Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague in the Netherlands is expected to issue its final award today on the arbitration initiated by the Philippines against China concerning China’s assertions concerning sovereignty of the South China Sea and the construction of artificial islands. The Government of China has indicated it will not accept the award, so how does the Government of Japan intend to respond to China after the tribunal has issued its award?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government of Japan has consistently supported the Philippines’ use of arbitration procedures under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) aiming at peaceful settlement of disputes on the basis of international law, as such actions contribute to the maintenance and enhancement of the international order in the region based on the rule of law. The Government will continue to carefully monitor developments in the arbitration tribunal and we believe that we must firmly encourage cooperation with the countries concerned in order to realize the rule of law at sea.

REPORTER: I have a related question. The Government of China has already indicated that it will not accept the award, even before it has been issued. It is also being said that it is using its diplomatic influence, particularly in the Southeast Asian region, to call on countries concerned to side with China in this case. What are your feelings concerning China’s use of its power to reinforce its diplomatic position?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, I am aware of the statement made by China on this matter. At the same time, I also believe it to be a fact that the award of this tribunal is final and legally binding on the two parties. The Government is aware that in October last year the arbitration tribunal also issued a ruling recognizing its jurisdiction over and the admissibility of part of the case brought by the Philippines.

REPORTER: The Prime Minister has recently received a courtesy call from Dr. Ben Shalom Bernanke, a former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. Could you tell us about the details of the meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: There is currently a great sense of growing uncertainty in the global economy, resulting from the stagnation of the growth of emerging economies such as China and also of developed economies, coupled with the UK’s exit from the EU and other factors. As the country holding the G7 Presidency, Japan stated at the G7 Summit the importance of recognizing these risks objectively and accurately, and implementing appropriately timed response measures. The meeting today with Dr. Bernanke was held under just such an awareness and discussion covered a broad range of areas, including the outlook for the global economy, and what is necessary for the Japanese economy to exit deflation and achieve sustainable growth.

REPORTER: During the exchange of opinions was there any mention of “helicopter money”?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am not aware of any specific discussion on that point, but I have received a report that Japan’s financial policies were discussed. In particular, it was noted that in terms of fiscal policies, Japan should work to raise its nominal GDP and implement financial policies that would help in such efforts. Dr. Bernanke noted that the Bank of Japan still has a variety of options available in order to implement financial easing.

REPORTER: Was there any discussion about the Government’s autumn economic policies during the meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am not aware of the discussions that took place. I imagine that the Prime Minister would naturally have explained what kind of economic policies Japan is implementing. As I just mentioned, discussions also covered such matters as what is necessary for the Japanese economy to exit deflation and achieve sustainable growth. I would have thought, therefore, that in the course of discussions the Prime Minister would have naturally explained about the instructions he has given today concerning economic policies.

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