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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday, September 5, 2011 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura


CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:First of all I would like to report on the Government's response to the disaster caused by heavy rains that accompanied Typhoon No. 12 (Talas). Typhoon No. 12 caused record rainfall in a number of regions from the Tokai region in the east to the Kinki region in the west, which resulted in significant and widespread damage, including the flooding of rivers and landslides in many areas. According to information that we have confirmed to date, this disaster has caused 25 deaths, with 52 people still missing and 89 people injured. In addition, 25 homes have been totally or partially destroyed and approximately 158 homes have been flooded. We have also received information that in Wakayama and other prefectures many residents are isolated due to the heavy rains. I would like to offer my prayers for the repose of those who have lost their lives in this disaster and my condolences to their family members, and extend my sympathies to the people who have been affected by this rain-related damage. At 9:00am on September 3, Information and Liaison Office was established in the Crisis Management Center of the Prime Minister's Office, and we began information gathering activities to assess the situation. Yesterday, September 4, at 10:30am, Inter-Ministerial Liaison Conference on Disaster Countermeasures was held. In addition, yesterday evening at 8:00pm, the Prime Minister gave the following instructions to Minister of State for Disaster Management Hirano: (1) to make every effort to engage in disaster relief measures, including rescue and assistance of people affected by the disaster, with a priority on saving lives; (2) to endeavor to gain an accurate picture of the extent of the damage as soon as possible; and (3) for central government ministries and agencies to liaise with local governments, and for the Government to make concerted efforts towards recovery and reconstruction with a sense of urgency. Furthermore, upon receiving instructions from the Prime Minister, Minister Hirano established an Emergency Disaster Response Headquarters, the first meeting of which was held last night. In this way the Government is making concerted efforts to engage fully in disaster response measures. In addition, yesterday afternoon a Government survey mission, headed by Parliamentary Secretary of the Cabinet Office Akutsu was dispatched to engage in information gathering activities on the status of damage in the prefectures and municipalities affected by the disaster. The Government will hold the second meeting of the Emergency Disaster Response Headquarters this afternoon, and through continued inter-ministry liaison we will make every effort to implement emergency disaster response measures, including search and rescue activities for those people who are still missing and relief support for those people who have been affected by the disaster.

Next, I would like to report on the appointment of Senior Vice Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Special Advisors to the Prime Minister. These positions will be decided in an extraordinary Cabinet meeting scheduled for 2:30pm today, after which an investiture ceremony for Senior Vice Ministers is scheduled from 4:30pm.



REPORTER:Yesterday the four ministers responsible for economic matters held a meeting and confirmed the Government's moves towards compiling comprehensive measures to respond to the recent rapid appreciation of the yen. At the current stage, what is the target for compilation of these comprehensive measures?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:I have received a report that yesterday four ministers, namely the Minister for National Policy, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Minister for Reconstruction in response to the Great East Japan Earthquake, held a meeting to share information concerning the current severe economic climate. I hear that the four ministers confirmed their shared recognition about the necessity to swiftly take comprehensive measures in response to the appreciation of the yen. I do not think that their discussions went into any further detail. My understanding is that the meeting provided an initial opportunity to share opinions and recognitions among the ministers concerned.

REPORTER:In relation to the third supplementary budget, yesterday Minister of Finance Azumi stated that his aim was to submit the draft budget by around mid October. Is this a recognition shared by the Government in general?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:As I mentioned in a previous press conference, the Prime Minister gave instructions in the first Cabinet meeting that budget requests for the third supplementary budget should be submitted by September 9 and work towards this deadline is currently underway. Reconstruction measures will form the bulk of the third supplementary budget, and it will also be likely to include the measures necessary for responding to yen appreciation. However, the timing for the submission of the draft bill for the third supplementary budget has yet to be decided. Compilation work within the Government and naturally consultations with the opposition parties are both important, and the Government stance is to proceed with compilation and consultation work with a view to submitting the draft budget at the earliest juncture.


REPORTER:Prime Minister Noda has indicated previously that he wishes to visit the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake as soon as possible. What is the current status of considerations concerning a visit by the Prime Minister to the three prefectures, including Fukushima Prefecture?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:As the Prime Minister himself has stated, he wishes to visit the disaster-affected areas as soon as possible, but specific considerations regarding the timing of his visit have yet to be made.


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