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Press Conference by Minister Seko (excerpted version)

*Note: This is a provisional translation for reference purpose only.

9:21 - 9:30 a.m.
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Press Conference Room, METI

Opening Remarks

G20 Ministerial Meetings

Minister Seko: Good Morning. First, let me start with one topic. The dates of the 2019 G20 Ministerial Meetings have been set.
 The Ministerial Meeting on Trade and Digital Economy will be held on the 8th and 9th of June 2019 in Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki Prefecture. The Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth will be held on the 15th and 16th of June in Karuizawa-machi, Nagano Prefecture.
 I will make my utmost efforts toward the success of the meetings, in continuous cooperation with relevant ministries and municipal governments hosting the meetings.

Question-and-Answer Session

Eight-Point Cooperation Plan

Q: Could you tell us about the current status of the eight-point cooperation plan which will be discussed during the visit to Russia this week?

 A: My visit plan is not yet approved by the Diet, but if circumstances permit, I will visit Russia to accompany Prime Minister Abe from the 24th to the 27th of May, including the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on the 25th. I will also attend the summit meeting between Prime Minister Abe and Mr. Putin, President of the Russian Federation, scheduled on the 26th in Moscow.
 At any rate, I am currently working with the Russian side on the final review of the plan’s outcomes, which should be reported to the summit meeting. I would like to promote the plan as much as possible and bring into the summit meeting its specific achievements. I would very much like to realize as extensive a level of cooperation as possible in order to achieve results, especially those results that both Japanese and Russian people would be able to actually feel the benefits of.
 I understand that new Cabinet members were recently announced in Russia, but most of my counterparts, economic ministers, stayed in their positions. I would also like to have meetings with them.

Notification to the WTO for a reservation of the right

Q: As for Japan’s notification to the WTO for a reservation of the right to take actions against the US steel/aluminum tariff, could you indicate any candidate items subject to the actions if they were actually be put into force? Also please tell us if there is any reaction from the US side regarding the notification.

 A: In response to the additional tariffs imposed by the US on imports of steel/aluminum, Japan has made a notification to the WTO, on the 18th of May, for a reservation of the right to take necessary actions to adjust the balance of the rights and obligations regarding trade between Japan and the US, so called “Rebalancing Measures”, based on WTO rules.
 As for the actual exercise of the rebalancing measures or specific items subject to the measures, we will make such decisions based on the thorough review of the relevant US measures and their impact on Japanese companies. At any rate, this notification on the 18th was merely a clerical procedure to reserve the right. As I have been reiterating, our policy is unchanged. We will tackle this issue head-on and diligently work with the US to ensure an equitable resolution.

Last updated:2018-05-30