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Aso warns against overreacting to G20’s handling of anti-protectionism

  • March 20, 2017
  • , Nikkei , p. 3
  • JMH Translation

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso held a press conference on the evening of March 18 after the close of the Group of 20 Finance Ministers and central bank governors meeting in Baden-Baden, Germany.


When he was asked why the financial chiefs left a phrase saying that they would “resist all forms of protectionism” out of their their joint statement, Aso said, “It’s as though we were blamed for saying the same thing every time, and now we’re being blamed because we didn’t say the same thing this time.”


Aso also pointed out, “When Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe made a speech, the newspapers wrote that he didn’t say what he had been saying all along,” using an analogy from the prime minister’s speech made at the beginning of this year in which he didn’t mention the government’s goal of eliminating the primary balance deficit.


The prime minister’s lack of reference to the goal led to speculation that it might be aimed at indicating a change in the government’s goal. But the government later explained that there was no particular intention behind Abe’s decision not to mention the financial target.


Aso was apparently trying to warn against overreacting to the handling of anti-protectionism at the G20 meeting.


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