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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Friday, September 9, 2011 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


REPORTER:Yesterday, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yoshio Hachiro went to observe the areas affected by the nuclear accident. During a press conference after the Cabinet meeting today, he called the area around the power station a "dead town." What do you think of this wording?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:I found his choice of words to be very inappropriate and improper. Although it is hard to think that he made the remarks which are criticized that he failed to consider the feelings of the area's residents, I have heard that he actually made the remarks. . Regarding this point, I am also aware that in his press conference this morning he explained his words. As a representative of the Government, we are very sorry for the great pain and trouble that has been caused to the people residing in the surrounding area due to the nuclear accident. In addition to working for the swift provision of an appropriate amount of compensation, we are exerting every effort on decontamination and other work to allow those residents to return to their old lifestyles or where they used to live as soon as possible - with the major premise that safety can be assured. The Government shall take responsibility for reconstruction, pushing it forward based on requests from the afflicted region.


REPORTER:Two days from now, on September 11, the United States will mark the tenth anniversary of the 9.11 terrorist attacks in 2001. Please tell us about Prime Minister Noda's policy on countermeasures against terrorism.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:Coincidently, two days from now marks both September 11 and exactly six months since March 11. In terms of crisis management initiatives for both terrorism and large-scale disasters such as the earthquake disaster this time, we want to move forward vigilantly, acting with a sense of urgency.


REPORTER:In just a few moments today, the order calling for restrictions on power usage shall be lifted. Looking back on the restrictions, I would like to hear your opinion about the effect that the lack of power supply has had on the Japanese business community and economy itself.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:Based on the Electricity Business Act, we have been restricting power usage among heavy users within the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) grid since July 1. Today these restrictions come to an end. This is something that has not just affected the Tohoku and Kanto regions, which are faced with power shortages, but the entire country. Over this summer, the public and industry have cooperated tremendously, and we have been managing to overcome this issue. And so I want to first express my sincerest gratitude to the people and industry. Now, that said, we are approaching winter, and likewise, if we consider next summer, we still have to continue to grapple with power supply and demand. We would like to review this summer's efforts, carefully consider power supply and demand going forward, and continue with necessary policies.


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