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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

November 4, 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 Diet deliberations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement and related bills. Recently in the Special Committee of the House of Representatives on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Minister Yamamoto, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, has apologized once again for his careless comments and has withdrawn them. However, opposition parties have strengthened their opposition to the holding of the special committee meeting and confrontation between the ruling and opposition parties is deepening. What are your views on this situation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, I am aware that Minister Yamamoto has expressed deep remorse about his comments and has apologized in the Diet, withdrawing the comments he made. The way in which affairs are managed in the Diet is for the Diet itself to decide and I would like to refrain from making any comment with regard to this matter from a Government standpoint. In addition, the TPP Agreement is extremely important for Japan’s growth strategy and the Government considers it to be necessary for related bills to be approved as soon as possible in order to swiftly ensure that the positive effects of the TPP can be realized. The Government will continue to provide detailed explanations in the Diet with a heightened sense of urgency, with a view to expediting deliberations.


REPORTER: I have a question concerning peacekeeping operations (PKO) in South Sudan. Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Masahiko Shibayama made an observational visit to South Sudan and has provided a report to the Prime Minister on the local situation. After making his report he spoke to members of the press and with regard to the local situation he stated that during his visit to South Sudan he had not seen any activities that would threaten security within the city of Juba. If the current security situation continues, does the Government consider the environment to be one in which“kaketsuke-keigo” (coming to the aid of a geographically distant unit or personnel under attack) duties could be assigned to Self-Defense Force (SDF) units?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I also met with Special Advisor Shibayama and received a similar report. With regard to the matter of what duties to assign to SDF units in South Sudan, this is something on which the Government is continuing to consider comprehensively, including the situation on the ground and the readiness of units. Nothing has yet been determined, including the timing of such a decision.

REPORTER: The next SDF units to be dispatched for PKO in South Sudan are scheduled to depart on November 20. Is the Government expecting to make a decision on the assignment of new duties before that?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have just stated, the Government is currently engaged in comprehensive considerations and at the present time nothing has been decided.


REPORTER: I would like to return to the matter of the TPP, although the special committee meeting in the Diet is still currently in session. You have repeatedly stated that the Government will not force through the related bills, but in the current session of the special committee there have been scenes of confusion as Diet members from the Democratic Party have surrounded the committee chairperson’s seat. What are your views on this situation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Management of Diet affairs is a matter for the Diet to decide. For its part, the Government will continue to provide detailed explanations and seek the understanding of the Diet, and, when the time comes, I believe that the Diet will make a decision on the TPP and related bills. In any event, this is a matter that the Government would like the Diet to decide.


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