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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

March 1, 2017 (PM)

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 have a question concerning the policy speech given by President Trump. In his speech today President Trump made no mention of the trade deficit with Japan and the appreciation of the dollar, which are topics on which he has previously commented. This would suggest that the recent Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting was successful in building a relationship with the Trump administration. Can I ask for your impressions of the content of the President’s policy speech with regard to economic matters?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, with regard to Japan-U.S. relations, both leaders confirmed that they remain fully committed to strengthening the economic relationships between their two countries and across the region, based on rules for free and fair trade, as part of the peace and prosperity of Japan and the United States, and  the region. In addition, the two leaders also agreed to launch a Japan-U.S. economic dialogue, led by Deputy Prime Minister Aso and Vice President Pence. Therefore I believe that overall, with regard to the lack of mention of Japan in the President’s speech, all that there is to be said about the direction for Japan-U.S. relations was determined at the summit meeting. Furthermore, rather than just economic areas, in overall terms the President’s speech was characterized by his strongly expressed determination to make America great again, by realizing a strong economy through the repeal of Obamacare, reforming the taxation system, boosting infrastructure investment and implementing regulatory reform; by expanding the U.S. defense budget; and by reforming border security and other controls. Given the increasingly uncertain global situation, the further strengthening of the Japan-U.S. Alliance by Japan and a strong United States will make a significant contribution not only to the peace and prosperity of Japan and the United States, but also to the Asia-Pacific region and the world. Japan and the United States will continue to cooperate closely, further strengthening our ties through the unshakable  Japan-U.S. Alliance.

REPORTER: I have a further related question. The two governments will be negotiating economic matters, for example in the economic dialogue that you mentioned earlier. Do you consider that during such negotiations, there is a possibility that the United States will make strong demands of Japan in such areas as the trade in automobiles, the formulation of a Japan-U.S. free trade agreement, or with regard to currency-related matters?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have just noted, at the recent summit meeting it was decided that an economic dialogue will be established, led by Deputy Prime Minister Aso and Vice President Pence. With regard to your question, I would expect that such a forum for economic dialogue will be no different from previous forums in the sense that it will involve hard discussions based on both countries’ national interests.

REPORTER: I have a related question. You have already noted that in his speech President Trump stated that he would be sending Congress a budget that calls for one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history . Given the increasing severity of the security environment surrounding Japan, could you tell us your evaluation of the plans for major increases in defense budget spending in the United States, Japan’s ally, including what advantages you think this may bring for Japan?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, President Trump stated that as part of his plans to make the United States strong, he will be calling for the largest-ever defense budget that will ensure that the United States’ military capabilities are stronger than they have ever been. No specific figures have been formally announced with regard to the budget and the Government will continue to closely monitor developments. However, I believe that based on what President Trump stated in his speech, the strengthening of the Japan-U.S. Alliance will make a major contribution to global peace and prosperity.


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