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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

September 28, 2020 (PM)

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Simultaneous interpretation services for this video are provided by a third party.

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

REPORTER: […] The four countries of Japan, Australia, India, and the United States recently held a senior-official level consultation. It is also anticipated that a Foreign Ministers’ meeting will be held in the near future. Could you please tell us once again the significance and the objective of this quadrilateral cooperation? Also, towards regional stability under a Free and Open Indo-Pacific, does the Government see any room for cooperation with China, which is increasing its influence in the region? Please share your view with us.
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY KATO: Let me first summarize the facts related to your question; on September 25, the sixth Japan-Australia-India-U.S. Consultations were held at the senior-official level in a videoconference format. The officials discussed the strategic implications of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the Indo-Pacific region and concurred on deepening coordination with other countries in realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific. With regard to the Japan-Australia-India-U.S. foreign ministers’ meeting, the schedule and other details have not been decided at this point. Also, Japan intends to work with any country if that country supports Japan’s vision on a Free and Open Indo-Pacific. Taking various opportunities, including bilateral ones, as well as Japan-U.S.-Australia, Japan-U.S.-India, and Japan-Australia-India-U.S. ones, we aim to work on the realization of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific.
REPORTER: I believe you just met with Chairman NUKAGA Fukushiro and other members of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Parliamentary League. Following the meeting, Chairman Nukaga told the press that the League requested budget increases for official development assistance (ODA) and JICA itself. Could you please explain what was discussed in the meeting? Please also share with us the Government’s current view on the budget increase for ODA and JICA.
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY KATO: Today, Chairman Nukaga and other members of the JICA Parliamentary League visited my office and submitted a resolution seeking an increase in the budget for ODA and JICA when the Government formulates the FY2021 budget. The resolution requests a budget increase for JICA, which plays a key role in implementing Japan’s ODA, an important foreign policy tool for Japan, as well as an increase in the ODA budget itself. I was told that the League gave the same resolution to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Finance. The Government is set to begin formulating the FY2021 budget and will take this resolution and other needs into account when doing so. In that process, we will carefully consider what would be an ideal budget for JICA and ODA.

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