*Note: This is a provisional translation for reference purpose only.
9:47 - 9:52 a.m.
Friday, April 24, 2018
Press Conference Room, METI
Q: As for the sale of the memory chip unit, Toshiba seems to be internally considering some alternatives in case the Chinese antitrust authority’s review has been prolonged and authorization is unlikely to be given.
Regarding this issue, the first question is, why do you think it fails to pass the review? Second, while there seems to be an option within Toshiba to cancel the sale, what do you think is possible optimal solution for reconstruction of Toshiba?
A: I understand that Toshiba has not yet obtained authorization from some of the antitrust authorities in China. But this is a matter of the review process in another country, so I, as Minister of Economy in Japan, am not in a position to make any comments on this and would like to refrain from doing so.
Toshiba has announced that it is continuously aiming at early completion of the deal. Therefore, any concrete policies, including cancellation of the sale as reported on by some media outlets, are not decided.
At any rate, I believe that it is the executive team of Toshiba who should consider its own reconstruction. METI would like to keep a close watch on its progress.
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
Q: Some media reported this morning that Thailand is expected to participate in the TPP. Can you provide us with the facts of the situation and what your thoughts are on this?
A: I saw such report in the media. Early effectuation of the TPP-11 is our first priority, and then we will welcome additional countries who show an interest in participation. We will provide such countries with all possible information related to joining.
Japan-US Summit Meeting
Q: Based on the result of the Japan-US Summit Meeting, a new trade consultation is supposed to be established. Are there any developments at this time?
A: At this summit, we agreed to establish under the Japan-US Economic Dialogue a new consultation framework, which I heard was decided to be commonly called “FFR”, standing for “free, fair and reciprocal trade deals”.
As for this consultation, we are going to discuss how to increase trade and investment between Japan and the US in a manner that is beneficial for both sides, and to realize open-and-free economic development in the Indo-Pacific region based on fair rules. I understand that the specific agenda and format will be determined in coordination with the US accordingly.
At any rate, the Japanese government believes that TPP is the best solution for both Japan and the US, and we are going to prepare for the discussions based on this stance.