(Yomiuri: November 23, 2015 – p. 4)
Following is the gist of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s news conference:
China’s increasing maritime activities are a common concern of the international community. We will deal with unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East China Sea firmly and calmly.
We will continue with capability-building assistance to ASEAN members and with Japan-U.S. joint exercises in the East China Sea. The Self-Defense Forces are not engaged in regular sustained surveillance and reconnaissance operations in the South China Sea nor do they have any concrete plans to do so. While we support the U.S.’s Freedom of Navigation operations, the SDF will not participate in these operations.
We staunchly condemn terrorism. Japan will reinforce its counterterrorism measures ahead of the Ise-Shima G7 Summit next year. Cooperation with the international community to strengthen intelligence gathering is an urgent task. An “international terrorism intelligence gathering unit” will be launched as soon as early next month.
I understand that legislation on the crime of conspiracy is important. In light of doubts and concerns voiced so far at Diet deliberations, we will deal with this issue cautiously.
The TPP is an undertaking to make new economic rules for the 21st Century. After signing the agreement, I will make efforts to obtain the Diet’s ratification as soon as possible. We will draw up an outline of TPP-related policies to dispel the people’s concerns.
Real GDP shrank in the July-September quarter, but positive signs for the future can now be observed. We need to prop up the economy. We will formulate a supplementary budget that will include emergency economic measures. We will continue to take steps to implement the growth strategy, including the reduction of the effective corporate tax rate.