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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

April 13, 2018 (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]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga
(There were statements on the overview of the Cabinet meeting and others.)
REPORTER: I have a question related to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. On 12 April, President Trump (of the United States) directed Ambassador Lighthizer (USTR) to study the possibility of the United States rejoining the TPP. Could I ask for the view of the Government concerning this development? Also, the Trump administration has consistently stated to date that it would only consider re-entering the TPP through renegotiation in a way that would be beneficial to the U.S. Does the Government consider there to be any room for renegotiation?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware of these press reports. So far, the Government has used various opportunities to explain Japan’s efforts regarding the TPP to the United States. The Government would welcome this, if it shows the recognition of the President of the significance and impacts of the TPP. We will continue to emphasize to the United States the economic and strategic importance of the TPP, particularly the positive impacts it would have on the U.S. economy and employment. At the same time, there is no change to our stance of making every effort to work toward the early entry into force of the TPP11.
REPORTER: What would be the Government’s decision with regard to renegotiation of the agreement?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As that is a hypothetical situation, it is not appropriate to respond at this stage. The TPP is a balanced and high-standard agreement, which was very carefully coordinated, taking into consideration various interests of the participating countries. As you are aware of from the process leading to the signing of the TPP, this agreement is like a work of glass. Accordingly, it would be extremely difficult to attempt to extract certain parts and renegotiate them. In any event, the Government is willing to hear what the United States thinks firstly.
REPORTER: Do you think that the United States’ return to the TPP would be discussed at the Japan-U.S. summit meeting next week?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to refrain from making comments based on conjecture at this point in time, but I expect that matters of mutual concern will be discussed, including the importance of free trade in the context of economic and trade issues.

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