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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

April 6, 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 would like to ask about the bill to establish Tero-to-Junbi-Zai (the offence to criminalize an act in furtherance of planning to commit terrorism and other serious crimes). Today, deliberations on the bill began in the House of Representatives, and in late May, the G7 Summit will be held in Italy where Japan signed the United Nations (UN) Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. Is it the Government's wish to pass the bill by the time of the summit?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As this concerns deliberations in the Diet, the Government would like to refrain from commenting on the timeframe. However, there is no change in the Government's intention to seek to get the bill passed as soon as possible by providing careful and clear explanations at the Diet, in order to gain understanding of the necessity and importance of the bill, and to obtain the broad support of not only the ruling but also opposition parties.

REPORTER: I have a related question. Today, in a press conference, Central Secretariat Chair Urushibara of the Komeito Party stated that the ruling parties hope to pass the bill through the House of Representatives at the end of April. Does the Government share this understanding?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: This is up to the Diet to decide.

REPORTER: I have a further related question. The Democratic Party and others have stated that there are problems with the ability of Minister of Justice Kaneda to answer related questions at the Diet, and intend to ensure that an explanation is provided. Do you believe he will be able to provide a thorough explanation that dispels peoples' uncertainty and anxiety?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Of course I am confident that he will.

REPORTER: I have a related question. There are concerns, particularly in the Komeito Party, that if the deliberations continue until close to the end of the session, there will be an impact on the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly elections. What are your thoughts on this point?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Deliberations have only just started today. Furthermore, until now a number of issues have been pointed out regarding this bill within the Diet. Based on those issues raised, and in light of the extremely severe security environment, including recent acts of terrorism-there was even a terrorist incident in Russia recently, and moreover as it is our role as the Government to protect the lives and peaceful daily lives of the Japanese people, it is of the utmost importance that we learn of the information before a crime occurs and that we are able to take all possible measures to deal with it. To this end, we have first limited this bill to only apply to groups preparing to commit terrorism and other organized crime groups.


REPORTER: I would like to change the subject. Today the first meeting of the IR Promotion Council was held. While the Japanese economy continues to recover through Abenomics, there is concern that the boost provided by the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will run out of steam. Can you please once again explain your perception on the role integrated resorts (IRs) can be expected to play?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, IR facilities refer to comprehensive resort facilities that bring together in one place facilities which can host meetings, recreations, exhibitions, lodging, and other uses that are believed to contribute to revitalizing tourism. IR facilities are expected to have an extremely large effect on tourism, vitalization of local economies and employment creation. We consider that it will contribute significantly to our goal of becoming a tourism-oriented country. In addition, at the first meeting of the Headquarters for the Promotion of Designated Zones for Integrated Resorts held on the day before yesterday, Prime Minister Abe expressed his desire to develop appealing Japanese-style IRs, such as "clean" casinos, by realizing internationally competitive facilities offering leisure and recreation services all in one place, including entertainment facilities that can be enjoyed by the whole family, as well as international conference venues and exhibition halls and so on. Through the discussions held in the Diet on the IR promotion bill, and the supplementary resolutions presented therein, the Government will steadily establish the necessary legal system.

REPORTER: I have a related question. During the vote on the IR bill in the Diet last year, there was a movement even from within the ruling parties to cast votes in opposition out of concern for secondary effects such as gambling dependency. The Prime Minister stated a short while ago that Japan will establish regulations of the world's highest level. Please share your specific thoughts on the importance of countermeasures for gambling dependency and how you will obtain understanding.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, from the viewpoint of gambling dependency, we will introduce strict entry regulations for casinos, and when introducing them we will fully consider the nature and effectiveness of entry regulations for casinos in other countries. In that way, we will thoroughly establish legal measures to contribute to the operation of proper casinos suitable for Japan.

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