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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

July 27, 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: Today, Prime Minister Abe indicated that next week he would compile an economic package of over 28 trillion yen including 13 trillion yen in fiscal measures. Can you once again explain the objective of this economic package? In addition, can you please elaborate on the details if they have been finalized, such as what the economic package would specifically entail as well as the size of fiscal spending and fiscal investments and loans, respectively?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am of course aware that the Prime Minister referred to the size of the economic package in his address. Since the elections, the Prime Minister has stated that he would establish comprehensive and bold economic measures. We need to ensure that the size of the economic package can fully prop up domestic demand in accordance with the Prime Minister’s instructions. Funding would be secured by utilizing a variety of resources based on the content of the economic package. It is from this perspective that the economic package is now being considered.


REPORTER: I have a question regarding the foundation for providing support for the former comfort women that the Republic of Korea (ROK) will establish in accordance with the Japan-ROK agreement. The foundation will be launched on July 28, and Japan will be contributing funds to the foundation. May I ask what Japan’s expectations are in terms of the ROK’s uses of Japanese funds for the operation of the foundation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, we are aware that the ROK will be establishing this foundation. We have not yet decided when exactly Japan will provide funds to the foundation. In any case, the Japanese and ROK Governments are in the process of coordinating the details of the program pursuant to the Japan-ROK agreement. In any case, it is vital that the Japanese and ROK Governments take responsibility to implement the agreement, as was confirmed at the recent Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit and the Japan-ROK foreign ministers’ meeting on July 25. Japan will continue to work closely with the ROK Government.


REPORTER: My question concerns a group’s non-visa free visit to Shibotsu Island of the Habomai Islands of the Four Northern Islands. The Russian entry procedure initially scheduled for July 26 was not completed, and the group was unable to enter the area yesterday. It seems that the entry procedure was completed this morning. There is talk that the Russian side did not permit entry as the Japanese side wrote down the Japanese name of the island. Is this true? Can you please also share your views regarding the measures for preventing the recurrence of such incidents?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: What happened was that during yesterday’s entry procedure, contrary to the procedure that had been arranged in advance between the Japanese and Russian diplomatic authorities, the Four Islands side unilaterally requested revisions to the procedure that the Japanese side could not accept. It is true that for this reason the entry procedure was suspended temporarily. However, it is also true that the procedure was resumed this morning, and that the Japanese group has entered the area. As diplomatic exchanges are also involved, I would like to refrain from responding in detail. In any case, the Government will continue to urge the Russian side as necessary to ensure that the former islanders and their families can smoothly visit their home island under this framework of free visits.


REPORTER: With regard to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Democratic Party of the United States did not make the pros and cons clear in its policy platform. Meanwhile, opposition to the TPP is gaining momentum in and outside the party. How do you look at this situation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to refrain from commenting on this matter as well. Having said that, at the TPP leaders’ meeting last November, the leaders of 12 countries including the United States confirmed that they would aim for the early entry into force of the TPP. We understand that incumbent President Barack Obama is also working to have the TPP Agreement passed by Congress by the end of this year.

REPORTER: Today, Mercedes-Benz showed its smartphone-operated automatic parking system to the media and others at the Akasaka Palace. The use of the Akasaka Palace by a company follows the recent opening of the Palace to the public. Can you please tell us your views of these expanded uses of this facility? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, around the world there are many examples in which private companies pay appropriate fees to utilize facilities, such as the Palace of Versailles and the Louvre Museum, to hold receptions and other events. In Japan, unfortunately there were no such examples. Today’s event was the first time that the Palace was utilized as a unique venue of this kind. As Mercedes-Benz Japan was holding an international exchange event on state-of-the-art safety technology for motor vehicles at the front lawn of the Akasaka Palace and as this would be the first such event, I also attended this event. I believe this event in which a private company used the Palace as a venue for holding international exchanges and introducing state-of-the-art technology provided a perfect opportunity to showcase the charms of the Palace to those inside and outside of Japan. The Government considers that if today’s event gives impetus to the utilization of the nation’s highly attractive facilities including the Palace by various companies and groups, this would be very fruitful for showcasing the attractiveness of Japan as well as making Japan a tourism-oriented country.


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