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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

November 7, 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 Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement and its associated legislation. It seems that the ruling parties will postpone the vote at the plenary session of the House of Representatives that was scheduled for tomorrow, the 8th. I believe the Government seeks to pass the legislation as quickly as possible. How do you view this decision?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I always state, Diet affairs are decided by the Diet, and therefore, the Government would like to refrain from making comments. The TPP Agreement is critically important for the growth strategy of Japan. We view that the associated legislation need to be passed as quickly as possible in order for the Agreement to swiftly manifest its effects. However, in any case, this will be decided by the Diet.

REPORTER: I have a related question. The fact that the vote at the plenary session was postponed despite railroading the legislation through the Special Committee of the House of Representatives on the 4th gives an impression that there is some incoherence. What are your thoughts concerning this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The position of the Government is to do whatever the Diet decides.

REPORTER: I have just one more related question. The House of Representatives will vote on it on the 8th. What impacts do you foresee from this slight delay? That is my first question. So the vote may take place after the results of the U.S. presidential election are known. What are your views regarding its implications?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We do not yet know when this will take place. In any case, the stance of the Government is to proceed with the deliberations as quickly as possible.

REPORTER: My question is in regard to the Japan-China-ROK trilateral summit meeting. The Park administration is facing severe criticisms, with the President’s approval rating falling to 5% according to public opinion polls in the Republic of Korea (ROK). The Japanese Government’s intention to hold the Japan-China-ROK trilateral summit meeting in Tokyo by the year-end remains unchanged even now?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As this year’s chair of the trilateral summit, Japan is making arrangements to hold the summit by the year-end. Nothing has been decided as of now regarding the exact date and details. However, we are making the arrangements.

REPORTER: I would like to ask a related question. Can you once again explain the reasons that the Japanese Government aims to hold the meeting by year-end?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: At the Japan-China-ROK foreign ministers’ meeting held in August, the three sides confirmed that trilateral cooperation would be further deepened in a variety of areas, such as disaster risk reduction, the environment, youth exchanges, and the economy. Against this backdrop, it was decided that the summit would be held in Japan. Accordingly, it is critically important that the three countries cooperate and work together to deliver outcomes.

REPORTER: I have a question regarding this matter. It is in connection with the Japan-China relationship. There are issues between Japan and China, such as the Senkaku Islands and the South China Sea issues. Are these issues interfering with the holding of the Japan-China-ROK summit meeting? Can you please share your views? 

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I do not believe so. After all, China has also agreed to the meeting. In any case, there are a variety of issues between Japan, China and ROK precisely because we are neighboring countries. However, I think that is all the more why it is important that the leaders meet with each other.

REPORTER: The Advisory Council on Easing the Burden of the Official Duties and Public Activities of His Majesty the Emperor began holding hearings from today. At today’s hearing, opinions against abdication were also heard. It is expected that a variety of views will continue to be raised. Can you once again explain your expectations for the hearings?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, the first hearing was conducted today. We would like to calmly advance the discussion free of assumption on easing the burden of the official duties and public activities of His Majesty the Emperor, while fully listening to the opinions of the experts.


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