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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

September 15, 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 about the President of The Democratic Party (DP). Today Diet member Ms. Renho was elected as the new President of the DP. Can I ask for your thoughts on this news and what expectations you have, given that the extraordinary Diet session is scheduled to start at the end of the month?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, as a new President has been elected, it is the Government’s expectation that the DP will engage constructively in specific policy discussions in the Diet. In order to respond to the mandate received from the people of Japan and to respond with a sense of responsibility to public expectations on such issues as the revitalization of the economy and protecting the lives and peaceful daily lives of the people, the Abe administration seeks to engage seriously in the work of running the Government. We therefore seek to engage in specific discussions and debates on such issues.

REPORTER: I have a related question concerning the issue that has been talked about recently of President Renho’s nationality. The Ministry of Justice has expressed the view that in general if a person retains Taiwanese nationality after having acquired Japanese nationality, this would lead to the person in question having dual nationality, which could constitute an infringement of the Nationality Act. President Renho has provided explanations concerning this matter, but do you think that these explanations have been sufficient?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am not aware of the details concerning the issue of the nationality of Ms. Renho. Various statements have been made on this subject and the Government is not in a position of knowing the specifics of all such statements, therefore I would like to refrain from making any further comment on behalf of the Government. In any event, this is something that Ms. Renho should explain to the people of Japan herself.

REPORTER: I have a further question. Following the election of the DP’s new president, Japan Communist Party (JCP) Chair Kazuo Shii has just spoken to members of the press, stating that the electoral cooperation among opposition parties and citizens was a big success in this year’s election for the House of Councillors and that he would therefore be talking with the new DP leadership to discuss how to further develop such cooperation in the next general election. You have been critical of DP-JCP cooperation in the past, so how do you view the prospect of further electoral cooperation among opposition parties?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I think it is highly questionable whether the electoral cooperation in the House of Councillors election was such a big success. In any event, my hope is that each party will clearly set out its own policies to the people of Japan and engage in discussions in the Diet.

REPORTER: I have a related question. President Renho is the first female leader of the DP, including the period when it was known as the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). In the sense that a woman has been appointed as leader of Japan’s largest opposition party, this could be seen as a symbol of the empowerment of women, which is a key policy of the Abe administration. What is your view on how the appointment of a female leader will impact national administration and politics?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: There have been female leaders of opposition parties in the past, including Ms. Takako Doi, who also served as the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The Abe Cabinet is committed to realizing a society in which all women shine and therefore the advancement and participation of women in the political sphere is also something to be welcomed.

REPORTER: I have one more question. During the election campaign, Ms. Renho expressed the opinion that if a meeting of the Commission on the Constitution were to be convened, she would participate in such a meeting. It is likely that she will maintain this stance and as the Government’s position is to deepen discussion in the forum of the Commission on the Constitution in the future, what is your view of such a stance?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: This is a natural stance for a political party to take, is it not? The Government is seeking to engage in discussions with the participation of all parties, each stating their own views on the Constitution in a dignified manner in the forum of the Commission on the Constitution.


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