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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

January 19, 2017 (AM)

If you can not view the video,click here(Japanese Government Internet TV)
This video's audio is a provisional translation through live simultaneous interpretation.

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

(Abridged)

Q&As

REPORTER: It is alleged that the involvement of senior officials of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and others in a former senior official’s reemployment with a university may constitute amakudari (the practice of civil servants obtaining posts in related organizations after retirement), which is prohibited under the National Public Service Act. It’s been reported in the media that (Administrative) Vice Minister Maekawa of MEXT has the intention to resign over this issue. Has the Vice Minister’s intention to resign been communicated to you?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, while I am aware of those media reports, I would like to wait for the result of the investigation. As this is a human affairs matter and still being investigated, I would like to refrain from making a comment at this point in time. In any case, we naturally intend to firmly deal with this matter to ensure that no doubts arise among the Japanese people. After the circumstances of the case have been made clear as a result of the investigation, the Government intends to strictly respond to the matter based on those results.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I would like to ask just one more related question. I believe the Abe administration also worked on revising the National Public Service Act following an amakudari issue involving government officials during the first Abe administration. Can you once again explain the administration’s view regarding amakudari? In addition, problems have been pointed out with the personnel system in Kasumigaseki that underlies amakudari. How does the administration intend to address the amakudari issue?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, according to the National Public Service Act, if it is suspected that an official committed an act which violates reemployment or other regulations, the ministry to which that official belongs will conduct an investigation upon notifying the Reemployment Surveillance Commission. Furthermore, the Reemployment Surveillance Commission may request ministries to conduct an investigation. The Commission can also conduct its own investigation. The Cabinet Bureau of Personnel Affairs makes public the reemployment situation of officials at and above the rank of counsellor (kikakukan) at the ministry who have retired in an effort to make reemployment more transparent. In this way, under the current system we have developed arrangements to make the reemployment situation more transparent and to investigate violations, and in the event a violation of the regulations is suspected, steps are taken to ensure it is appropriately investigated. In any case, taking into account this incident, we will ensure compliance with the reemployment regulations so that the reemployment of national public servants is both appropriate and transparent.

REPORTER: In relation to the investigation currently underway by the Reemployment Surveillance Commission, have you received a report on the current progress of the investigation and around when an announcement of the result can be expected?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, I have been briefed that the Reemployment Surveillance Commission is conducting an investigation related to MEXT’s violation of reemployment regulations. At this time the investigation is still underway. I would like to wait for the result of the Reemployment Surveillance Commission’s investigation. The Government is currently strictly regulating inappropriate conduct based on the strict oversight of the Commission. If based on the result of the Commission’s investigation, a violation of the regulations was found to have occurred, then it is a matter of course that the Government take rigorous measures to dispel the doubts of the people.

(Abridged)

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