Meeting among Four Ministers on the Issue of Nuclear Power Stations
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda held the seventh Meeting among Four Ministers on the Issue of Nuclear Power Stations at the Prime Minister's Office.
Based on the discussion, the Prime Minister said, "Regarding the restart of Units 3 and 4 of Oi Nuclear Power Station, we received a statement from the Union of Kansai Governments requiring appropriate judgment based on the understanding that safety judgment by the national government is provisional, as long as the governmental organizations including the nuclear regulatory agency have yet to be inaugurated. I acknowledge that a certain understanding is taking shape among the relevant municipalities. Considering the nuclear power station accident in Fukushima, the government has been carefully confirming the safety based on the opinions of experts.
Measures and systems to prevent that kind of accident are in place. This is not based on the idea of "restart first," but on the idea of "safety first." It is needless to say that this principle is the basic precondition. We must realize the new nuclear regulatory agency, for which discussions started yesterday, at the earliest date possible, and I would like to take all possible measures to restore the public's trust in the safety regulation. Also, until the inauguration of the regulatory agency, we will take the requests from Fukui Prefecture earnestly and will construct a special monitoring system for Units 3 and 4 of Oi Nuclear Power Station. Facing the reality of Tokyo Electric Power Company's nuclear power station accident in Fukushima Prefecture, the Noda Administration will take responsibility in probing answers on the future energy policy based on the existing policy, amid divided public opinion regarding the future nuclear power administration.
However, nuclear power generation continues to be important, not simply for ensuring the electric power needed for summer but also for ensuring the stability and development of the entire economy and society of Japan, including the issues of energy security and holding down any increase in the people's burden on the electricity price rise. Therefore, I believe that it is necessary to restart nuclear power stations for which the safety has been ensured. I express my highest respect especially to Oi Town of Fukui Prefecture, which is the municipality wherein the nuclear power plant is located and which has been directly facing the issue of ensuring the safety of the nuclear power plant and contributing to the stable supply of electricity for over forty years, and I would like to ask for regional understanding.
After judgment is made on the municipality wherein the nuclear power plant is located, we would like to ultimately make thorough discussions here among the four ministers. Then, I will make the final decision myself as the Prime Minister."