Skip to main content

Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  January 2017 >  January 26, 2017 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

January 26, 2017 (PM)

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]

Q&As

REPORTER: I have a question concerning trade negotiations with the United States, relating to a question that also came up in this morning’s press conference. Today in the Budget Committee of the House of Representatives, the Prime Minister indicated that while the Government will continue to emphasize the significance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement to the United States, the conclusion of a free trade agreement (FTA) or economic partnership agreement (EPA) would not be totally out of the question and Japan would not rule out the possibility of bilateral negotiations. In the past it has been the case that the Government has been cautious about entering into an FTA or some other kind of bilateral agreement, given the possibility of it being pressed to compromise on items such as agricultural products. Why is it now the case that the Government appears to have embarked on a course that recognizes the possibility of bilateral negotiations taking place?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, I would like to refrain from adding anything further to the comments made by the Prime Minister. What I would say with regard to the trade policies of the Trump administration is that the appointment and approval of cabinet members responsible for trade is currently advancing in the United States. I would expect that once these positions have been confirmed and a structure is in place the policy of the United States will become clear and therefore I would like to refrain from making any speculative comments at the current point. Once the cabinet members responsible in the new administration have been appointed, the Government will engage in discussions at various levels on how to develop and deepen Japan-U.S. economic relations. There is absolutely no change to our stance of focusing efforts on gaining understanding with regard to the TPP. As we will not know the direction that will be taken by the Trump administration until the relevant economy and trade-related cabinet posts have been filled, we are not considering any particular measures at the current time.

REPORTER: It is said that the number of applications made last year for recognition of refugee status will be the highest ever, standing at over 10,000 applications. However, it is anticipated the number of applications that are accepted will not increase significantly. There is a view that the reason for the continued increase is because the great majority are false applications, which are made for the purpose of finding employment in Japan.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, when an application for recognition of refugee status is received, it is the Ministry of Justice that makes an appropriate decision, based on the merits of each case, as to whether the application qualifies for refugee status. At the same time, the number of applications for recognition of refugee status in 2016 is expected to exceed 10,000. However, among that number there are many applications that clearly do not qualify for refugee status and where applicants are appealing the decision. In the case of foreign nationals who repeatedly submit refugee applications for the purpose of finding employment and other such purposes, the Ministry of Justice is taking measures to prevent such people from working or denying them residence status in Japan.

(Abridged)

Page Top

Related Link