"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Press Conference by the Prime Minister on the Passage of the Bills to Amend Special Measures Law and Other Matters

[Date] February 3, 2021
[Source] Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet
[Notes] Provisional Translation
[Full text]

(On the passage of the bills to amend the Act on Special Measures for Pandemic Influenza and New Infectious Diseases Preparedness and Response and on the penalties for business operators)

First, I would like to express my appreciation for having passed the bills swiftly, thanks to the many efforts of all those involved in the Diet. These bills aim to increase the effectiveness of our measures, by pairing assistance measures with administrative penalties. It is true that the number of infections is trending downward. We intend to improve the effectiveness of our measures to reduce the number further by making full use of this law while giving ample consideration to the rights of individuals and business operators.

(On the resignation of House of Councillors member KAWAI Anri)

First and foremost, I take very seriously the fact that because of this case, criticism against politicians from the public has been mounting. I myself have been saying this regularly, but it is critically important for politicians to be aware of their own responsibility and for them to do their job faithfully so that the public does not harbor doubts about our actions.

(On the report in some media about the Prime Minister's son)

I have no knowledge of what may have happened. I expect that the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications will respond to this matter appropriately.

(On whether to consider cooperating with local governments' on assistance measures and other matters)

It's certainly the case that the judgment of local governments is extremely important in such situations. In particular, in Tokyo and the surrounding prefectures, the hours of dining and drinking establishments had been shortened to a 10 PM closing time. It is a fact that the Government and the Subcommittee on Novel Coronavirus Disease Control had called on to make them close at 8 PM. Having said that, each local government has its own way of doing things. In that regard we intend that this time, the national and local governments will push forward these measures together as a unified force.

(On reviewing the special measures law)

First of all, the amendment to this law was only enacted just now, and while we are now seeing a substantial reduction in the spread of infections, we want to make our measures more effective by implementing this law thoroughly. That is the top priority for us for the time being.

(On whether the Prime Minister intends to confirm with his son the media report)

No, I am not considering it at all.