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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

March 17, 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 the abdication of His Majesty the Emperor. The Prime Minister has received the compilation of discussions by the Speaker and Vice-Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President and Vice-President of the House of Councillors about the legislature response to the abdication of His Majesty the Emperor . Based on the assumption that a special law will be enacted that applies only to the current Emperor, the compilation includes stipulations concerning the relationship between the envisaged special law as a supplementary provision to the Imperial House Law  and the Imperial House Law itself. Does the Government intend to consider legislative measures in line with the compilation of discussions received today?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: A short while ago Prime Minister Abe met with the Speaker and Vice-Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President and Vice-President of the House of Councillors and received a compilation that represents a synthesis of the results of discussions that have taken place in the legislature among all parties and factions, led by the Speaker, Vice-Speaker, President and Vice-President, concerning the matter of the abdication of His Majesty the Emperor. The Prime Minister expressed his respect for the efforts made by the Speaker, Vice-Speaker, President and Vice-President in compiling this synthesis of discussions in the legislature and stated that the Government will study it seriously as it moves immediately to compile draft legislation and makes every effort to ensure that a draft bill can be submitted during the current session of the Diet.

REPORTER: What is the Government's view with regard to the timing of the submission of a draft bill to the Diet?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have just noted the Government will move immediately to start the drafting process and make every effort to ensure that a draft bill can be submitted during the current session of the Diet.

REPORTER: I have a related question. The compilation of discussions includes a request to the Government to consider the establishment of Imperial houses for female members of the Imperial Family, as a means of ensuring the stable succession of the Imperial line. How will the Government address this particular issue going forward?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the compilation of discussions that has been received today includes items requesting Government consideration of measures to ensure stable Imperial succession and also the provision of a report to the Diet. The Government will treat these items with due seriousness and continue to engage in considerations relating to stable Imperial succession.

REPORTER: If Imperial houses of female Imperial Family members were to be established, this could entail discussions on such matters as the succession of an Emperor from a matrilineal Imperial line in the future. What is the Government's current view of the succession of an Emperor from a matrilineal Imperial line?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the Government will treat the compilation of discussions from the legislature with due seriousness and respond accordingly. That is all.

REPORTER: How will the Government proceed with considerations from now? Will the Advisory Council be reconvened?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Based on the fact that today we have received from the Speaker and Vice-Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President and Vice-President of the House of Councillors a compilation that represents a synthesis of the results of discussions that have taken place in the legislature among all parties and factions, the Government will convene a meeting of the Advisory Council.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: With regard to the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station accident, the Maebashi District Court has today issued a ruling ordering both the Government and TEPCO to provide compensation to more than 130 people who evacuated after the accident and are now living in Gunma Prefecture. What is the Government's view on this ruling?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Although I am not aware of the details of the ruling handed down by Maebashi District Court today, I hear that some of the Government's arguments were dismissed by the court. I expect that the ministries and agencies concerned will examine the court's ruling in detail and the Government will then consider how to respond.

(Abridged)
 
REPORTER: I have a question following on from this morning's press conference about management issues at Toshiba Corporation. Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Seko visited the United States, where he met with the U.S. Commerce Secretary and Energy Secretary and confirmed that Japan will share information with the U.S. side with regard to issues relating to Toshiba. I believe that such information will also relate to issues surrounding the sale of Westinghouse Electric Company LLC , so how does the Government intend to cooperate with the Government of the United States going forward?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Minister Seko has met with Commerce Secretary Ross and Energy Secretary Perry and I understand that in those meetings the U.S. side stressed the extreme importance of the financial stability of Toshiba Corporation, the parent company of Westinghouse Electric Company, which is engaged in nuclear power station construction in the United States. It was agreed that both countries will fully share information on this matter and I expect that the matter will start from there.

REPORTER: According to some press reports the Government of the United States is opposed to Westinghouse filing for bankruptcy, given concerns over the possibility of large-scale employee redundancies. Is the Government aware of such opinions?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are not aware of such matters. In any event, Minister Seko has held meetings with both Commerce Secretary Ross and Energy Secretary Perry in which it was confirmed that the two sides will proceed while sharing information fully with each other.

REPORTER: I have one more related question. In previous press conferences you have stated that Toshiba's flash memory technologies are critical for Japan's growth strategy. There are concerns that depending on where the business is sold to, it could result in the outflow of technologies to other countries, so could you tell us the Government's view on the way to handle the company's semiconductor business?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have previously noted, in its semiconductor business Toshiba has the second largest global share of the flash memory market and maintains a high degree of competitiveness worldwide. Furthermore, the business is also important from the standpoint of supporting domestic employment, given that the Yokkaichi plant creates employment for more than 10,000 people. The importance of flash memory is also increasing from the perspective of information security. These are the sorts of issues and perspectives that the Government would like Toshiba to fully consider in making its decision. The Government will continue to closely monitor the situation.

(Abridged)

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