The Prime Minister Visits Fukushima Prefecture
Sunday, May 31, 2015
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Fukushima Prefecture.
First, at the Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute, AIST (FREA), in Koriyama City, the Prime Minister observed the solar photovoltaic power generators and other facilities. Following this, Prime Minister Abe visited a manufacturer of food product machinery, where he exchanged views with employees.
In the afternoon, Prime Minister Abe held a roundtable with residents of Kaiyama emergency temporary housing in Tamura County. Afterwards, the Prime Minister exchanged views with business operators and then visited a temporary shop. Following this, Prime Minister Abe went to the Yanaizu Nishiyama Geothermal Power Plant in Kawanuma County, where he observed the inside of the generator building, the inside of the generator structure, and the site of the geothermal production well.
After his visit, the Prime Minister said,
“Today, I talked with people who are reopening businesses, and was once again made keenly aware of the necessity of providing support to those affected by the disaster as they work to regain their independence, based on careful consideration of their needs. I will create a joint team consisting of members of both the public and private sectors to support the independence of business operators.
First, the team will make in-person visits to the entire 8,000 business operators that have evacuated and provide detailed support in line with the circumstances of each operator.
In addition, I recently received a proposal from the ruling parties. Based on that proposal, we will make a Cabinet decision within next month on a policy package for the revival of Fukushima, which continues to suffer as a result of the nuclear disaster.
Furthermore, particularly in Fukushima, renewable energy will be a pillar of reconstruction. We will therefore provide special support to Fukushima compared to other areas to make it possible for the regions in Fukushima that were affected by the disaster to purchase the maximum amount of renewable energy possible.
Just now, I visited a geothermal power plant and heard an explanation about it. Japan must make use of the grand potential of geothermal power generation. To that end, we will raise the subsidy rate for the development of geothermal power plants across the country. We will also relax regulations, provided that due consideration is given to local communities and to nature. We will also introduce financial support to address the concerns of operators of hot springs.”
In addition, in response to questions from reporters on the state of arrangements related to sites being considered for hosting summit meetings in Japan next year, the Prime Minister said,
“Currently, we are examining all potential sites. In examining each site, I would like to make a final decision based on the consideration of transport accessibility, lodging facilities, the meeting venue, security, and other factors. In addition, our considerations will also take into account matters such as the timing and manner in which our decision will be announced. I intend to make an announcement at the summit meeting in Germany next month.”