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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

November 1, 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 regarding the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) between Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK). The talks with the ROK were resumed today. Can you once again explain the significance of the agreement? In addition, by around when do you aim to conclude the agreement?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, today, director-level talks were conducted between the diplomatic and defense authorities of Japan and the ROK. The Japanese and ROK sides carried out focused discussions based on a draft agreement that was prepared for signing in 2012, taking into account factors such as the development of domestic legislation and subsequent changes in the situation. The purpose of this agreement is to carry out information exchanges between the two countries more smoothly and swiftly by giving proper protection to classified information that is exchanged between the two governments. Collaboration between Japan and the ROK is vital, also for addressing the nuclear and missile issues of North Korea. The Government hopes to further advance Japan-ROK cooperation in the security area, including through the early conclusion of the agreement.

REPORTER: I have a related question. In the counterpart country, the ROK, the political situation is unstable due to suspicions that an acquaintance of the President intervened in state affairs. This situation will not have an effect on the early conclusion of the agreement?   

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We perceive that there will not be any impact.

REPORTER: In the “Outlook for Economic Activity and Prices” report that the Bank of Japan (BoJ) released today, the timing for achieving the 2% price increase target was pushed back from the previous FY2017 to around FY2018. In effect it is forecasted that the target will not be achieved while Governor Kuroda is in office. Can you please share the comment of the Government? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, as regards the modified outlook for the timing of achieving the 2% price stability target in the outlook report released today, I understand that the BoJ made this decision upon carefully considering the recent economic and price situations. The BoJ is entrusted with the concrete approaches of monetary policy. Therefore, the Government continues to expect that the BoJ will undertake maximum efforts to realize the price stability target based on the economic and price situations. You mentioned the term of office of Governor Kuroda. Governor Kuroda has reiterated time and again that monetary policy is not something that is decided based on the term of office of the BoJ Governor, and that the policy is properly shaped to realize the price stability target while taking the economic and price situations into consideration. In any case, with the aim of realizing the 2% target, the Government expects that the existing monetary easing will be continued up to the point that it needs to be continued in a stable manner, and the Government continues to expect that the BoJ will undertake maximum efforts to realize the price stability target.

REPORTER: My question is in connection with the ethnic confrontations in Myanmar. This afternoon, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar will be visiting Japan. Ethnic confrontations have surfaced from several days ago. There were reports regarding accusations that Rohingya women were raped, and concerns over ethnic confrontations concerning the Rohingya group have been rising. Does Japan intend to confirm the facts of this situation or raise this issue at the meeting between Prime Minister Abe and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Tensions in this part of the country have risen since the attacks against the border guards in this area last month. The Japanese Government is closely following the situation. We expect views to be exchanged on a wide range of areas between Prime Minister Abe and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. However, at this point in time, I would like to refrain from speculating on the content of the meeting.

REPORTER: I have a follow-up question. The spokesperson of the U.S. Department of State commented that the United States urged Myanmar to be transparent regarding this issue and that it takes the situation and the reports seriously. The Japanese Government has no intention to urge the Government of Myanmar to disclose information, conduct on-site inspections or third-party on-site investigations, or take other such responses?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Japan has been concerned about the situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from a humanitarian standpoint and has been providing humanitarian assistance to the IDPs in Myanmar.

REPORTER: You will not urge the Government to provide information or take other responses regarding this matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The leaders are expected to exchange views regarding a wide range of areas at the upcoming meeting. At this point in time, I would like to refrain from speculating on the content of the meeting.

REPORTER: I would like to change the subject to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP Agreement and associated legislation will be passed through the House of Representatives on the 4th, making it certain that they will be approved and passed during this session of the Diet. According to public opinion polls, the public still strongly wishes that careful deliberations be conducted. Do you perceive that adequate discussions have taken place among the ruling and opposition parties to gain the understanding of the people?  

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Conversely, I believe there are also many people who wish for the legislation to be passed during the current session of the Diet. The TPP Agreement is critically important for the growth strategy of Japan. The Diet deliberations are being undertaken with the recognition that the associated legislation need to be passed as quickly as possible for the Agreement to promptly manifest its effects. The Diet will determine how they will be handled at the Diet. The Government will provide careful explanations with a sense of vigilance to be able to swiftly proceed with the deliberations.


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