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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

January 31, 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: Today the draft third supplementary budget for fiscal 2016 was voted on in the Budget Committee of the House of Councillors and approved by a majority, including members of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), New Komeito and Nippon Ishin no Kai. The draft supplementary budget is expected to be passed by the plenary session of the House of Councillors this evening, so can I ask for a comment from the Government concerning its passage?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NOGAMI: The draft third supplementary budget for fiscal 2016 has yet to be voted on by the plenary session of the House of Councillors, so I would like to refrain from making any comments that would preempt the process of Diet deliberation. However, this supplementary budget responds to additional fiscal needs, including measures required for the speedy recovery and reconstruction of disaster-affected areas. Assuming that it is passed by the Diet, the Government will move to execute the third supplementary budget appropriately.

REPORTER: Once the supplementary budget draft has been passed, I believe that the Diet will move on to deliberate the draft budget for fiscal 2017. The Government has emphasized that the greatest economic measure is the early passage of the fiscal 2017 budget, so what expectations does the Government have with regard to Diet deliberations on the fiscal 2017 budget draft?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NOGAMI: The draft budget for fiscal 2017 incorporates measures aimed at pioneering the future, including those for the realization of a society with the dynamic engagement of all citizens, such as improvements to employment conditions for childcare and nursing care providers and the establishment of a scholarship system, and those directly related to economic vitalization, such as enhancement of funding for science and technology promotion and prioritization of growth sectors in public works-related projects. The early passage of next fiscal year’s budget is truly the greatest economic measure and the Government is aiming to achieve the passage of the budget without delay. We will make every effort to provide thorough explanations relating to the draft budget in the Diet.

REPORTER: I have a question concerning diplomatic relations with the Republic of Korea (ROK). Mr. Yasumasa Nagamine, Ambassador of Japan to the ROK, is still in Japan after being recalled from the ROK. What is the outlook at this stage with regard to when he will resume his duties in the ROK?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NOGAMI: As we have previously stated, the date for the Ambassador’s resumption of duties in the ROK has yet to be determined. The Government will make a decision after taking all matters into comprehensive account. In any event, the Government will continue to use every opportunity to call on the ROK to steadily implement the agreement reached between Japan and the ROK at the end of 2015, including with regard to comfort women statues.

REPORTER: I would like to ask about the Government’s basic policy with regard to diplomacy with the ROK and also inquire as to what response is being sought from the Government of the ROK with regard to the issue of the comfort woman statue in Busan?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NOGAMI: It is regrettable that in response to the installation of a comfort woman statue in front of the consulate general of Japan in Busan at the end of last year, the Government had to take the measure of temporarily recalling Ambassador Nagamine. For Japan, the ROK is our most important neighbor, with whom we share strategic interests. The Government will continue to use every opportunity to call on the ROK to steadily implement the agreement that was reached at the end of 2015, including with regard to comfort women statues.

REPORTER: Finally, the Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Summit continues to be postponed. What is the current outlook for holding the summit?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY NOGAMI: As it was not possible to arrange for a trilateral summit meeting to be held before the end of last year, the Government of Japan is seeking to hold a summit this year at an appropriate time. No specific dates have been decided at the current time.

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