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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

June 28, 2017 (AM)

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 about Mr. Hiroto Izumi, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister. Last week I raised a question about Mr. Izumi being the key person responsible for directing large-scale infrastructure exports and capital investment projects. For example, last year monthly meetings were held from March to October concerning a bid for the construction of a Shinkansen system linking Singapore and Malaysia. The meetings were held in the office of the Executive Secretary to the Prime Minister. Attendees at the meeting included managers and deputy managers from Sumitomo Corporation; megabanks; the Railway Division of the Policy Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT); the Financial Cooperation Division of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; the Development Policy Division of the Ministry of Finance; the Second Southeast Asia Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Social Infrastructure Finance Department of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC); and the Project Department of the Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport & Urban Development (JOIN). They engaged in discussions with Mr. Izumi on how to successfully achieve the export of the Shinkansen system to Singapore. In the process of collecting information on this matter it has become clear that Mr. Izumi was heavily involved in procedures to specifically promote and advance infrastructure exports, based on the wishes of the Prime Minister, similar to the case of Kake Educational Institution. You have previously stated that you are entirely unaware of such details, but are you aware of the current situation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: What I said in response to your question yesterday was that at no time were general contractors participating in such meetings. Infrastructure exports are a priority policy issue for the Government and it is a fact that I oversee efforts with regard to this matter, with Mr. Izumi heading the office concerned, needless to say. Until now administrative functions have operated in silos and so a decision was made to make cross-governmental efforts to promote infrastructure exports. One of the results of these efforts has been the receipt of an order for the Shinkansen system in India. It is therefore true that Mr. Izumi has played a coordinating role under my oversight to integrate Government efforts on this matter. However, I would like to make clear that no general contractors have been involved in this process.

REPORTER: So you are aware of the meetings that took place, even if general contractors were not present?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Various meetings are constantly being held at the Prime Minister’s Office and I think it is rude to attempt to suggest that the meeting in question was suspicious in any way.

REPORTER: You have just referred to the word “suspicious,” but what I was asking was whether you were aware of the way in which Mr. Izumi has been working in such areas, which is something that has become clear through press investigations. For example, in the meeting on the export of the Shinkansen system to Singapore, Mr. Izumi apparently asked a director-level official at MLIT whether it would be possible to engage in a barter-type transaction, with Singapore purchasing the Shinkansen system in exchange for increased number of flights to and from Haneda Airport. What I am asking is whether the Government understands the role being played by Mr. Izumi as a key person in specific efforts to promote infrastructure exports?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Given that I have assigned this task to Mr. Izumi, it is only natural that I would be aware of his activities. He is an extremely able person with previous experience working at MLIT and he is engaged diligently in the task to which he has been assigned.


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