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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

January 18, 2017 (AM)

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 would like to ask about the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). In regard to the reemployment of former senior officials of MEXT, there are reports that a number of senior MEXT officials mediated “amakudari” (the practice of civil servants obtaining posts in related organizations after retirement), and that the Government’s Reemployment Surveillance Commission is asking questions due to the possibility of a violation of the National Public Service Act. It is also reported that the Reemployment Surveillance Commission is considering advising MEXT to strictly censure the senior officials. Can I ask about the current state of the investigation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, I am aware the Reemployment Surveillance Commission is conducting an investigation of MEXT in regard to reemployment regulations. As the Commission members are currently conducting their investigation, I would like to wait for the resulting report of the Reemployment Surveillance Commission, but if a violation has indeed taken place as per the reports, I would consider that extremely regrettable. The Government is strictly regulating such inappropriate conduct through the strict oversight of the Commission members, and will continue striving to dispel the concerns of citizens regarding reemployment issues by continuing these initiatives going forward.

REPORTER: I have a related question. Does that mean there was actually an incident which raised the concern of the Reemployment Surveillance Commission?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I have received a report that they are currently conducting an investigation.

REPORTER: Prime Minister May of the United Kingdom officially announced the U.K.’s plan to leave the European Union single market as part of their exit from the EU. This is expected to impact the economy of Europe and the entire world. What is the Government’s reaction?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, I am aware that Prime Minister May made a speech regarding the U.K. government’s policy for the U.K.’s exit from the EU. The result of the EU exit negotiations will determine how the relationship between the United Kingdom and the EU will develop going forward. Based on the number of Japanese firms that are active throughout Europe and the U.K., the Government will continue closely observing the EU exit developments.

REPORTER: I have a related question. You just mentioned the impact on Japanese firms. How do you expect to see that impact manifest itself in practical terms?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, in her recent speech, Prime Minister May also expressed the U.K.’s intention to increase the predictability of the process going forward and to establish a smooth transition period. The Japanese Government will continue emphasizing to the U.K. and EU that the exit should be carried out with the least possible impact to the activities of Japanese firms and the world economy.

REPORTER: I have one final question. Japan has recently reopened negotiations with the EU regarding the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). What impact do you foresee on the EPA negotiations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We will take some more time to observe what impact is experienced by the world economy and the impact on the activities of Japanese and Japan-related firms, while monitoring the transition going forward.


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