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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

March 5, 2018 (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 related to the National People’s Congress in China. According to a draft budget disclosed by the State Council of China, the defense budget for this year is set to increase to approximately 18.3 trillion yen, which is 3.5 times the size of Japan’s defense budget. Could you tell us whether the Government has any concerns about the impact China’s defense posture could have on the peace and security of Japan? How will the Government approach China and how will it seek to alleviate security tensions? Could you share with us the Government’s view on the future course of action?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, as a matter of course, the Government is aware that China’s national defense budget has continued to increase at a high rate of growth for many years. It is desired that China further improves the transparency of its defense policies and military developments, including defense-related expenditure. The Government will continue to monitor related developments with the greatest interest as well as to engage in dialogue and exchanges in security-related areas. At the same time, we will also continue to call on China to improve transparency with regard to its defense policies.
REPORTER: I have a related question. It is expected that the National People’s Congress will adopt the amendments to China’s Constitution to include specific reference to the school of thought attributed to President Xi Jinping. How does the Government perceive such a move in China to further strengthen the power base of President Xi, and how will you seek to build relations with the Chinese leadership under President Xi?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to refrain from making comments on each topic relating to domestic matters in other countries. The Government will continue to closely watch the related debate in the National People’s Congress. In any event, in this year, which marks the 40th anniversary of the conclusion of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China, we will continue to work together with China in seeking to improve bilateral relations in all aspects.
REPORTER: Russian figure skater Alina Zagitova will receive a female Akita Inu (Japanese Akita) as a present from Japan. You stated the other day that you hoped that she would receive an Akita, so now that it has been decided, can I ask for your reaction? Ms. Zagitova has apparently decided to call her dog “Masaru,” so could you add a comment about this choice too?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Many people in Akita Prefecture and Odate City, including members of the Akita Inu Hozonkai, indicated their desire to send an Akita to Ms. Zagitova. I understand that Ms. Zagitova has announced that she will accept the gift and as someone from Akita Prefecture I am delighted to hear this news. I understand that specific arrangements will be made by the people concerned. The Government will continue to provide appropriate support where necessary.

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