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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:I would first like to give an overview of today's Cabinet meeting. The meeting approved five general and other measures, and also the promulgation of legislation and personnel decisions. With regard to statements by ministers, the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology made a statement concerning the entry into force of legislation relating to emergency measures for damage arising from the nuclear accident of 2011. The Minister for Foreign Affairs made a statement concerning emergency grant aid to people injured in the armed conflict in Libya. The Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare made a statement concerning the congratulatory letters for persons over the age of 100 in Japan and the presentation of commemorative gifts to these people. Prime Minister Noda also made a statement concerning matters pertaining to the interpretation of laws and ordinances by the Cabinet.

In ministerial discussions that followed the Cabinet meeting, the Minister of the Environment made a statement concerning the third supplementary budget, Minister for National Strategy Furukawa made a statement about a decision on the logo message for the Cool Japan campaign, and the Minister of Finance made a statement concerning the recent meeting of G7 finance ministers and central bank governors. There were some other statements in addition.


REPORTER:It appears that there has been an accident at a nuclear facility in France, in which an explosion resulted in the death of one worker. What is the Government's view of this accident?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:I have heard reports that yesterday evening (Japan time), there was an explosion at a reprocessing plant for low grade nuclear waste in Codolet, France, resulting in death or injuries to five people. However, according to the French Nuclear Safety Authority, there was no release of radioactive materials outside the facility and the fire that was caused by the explosion was extinguished on the same day (Sep 13, local time). The French authorities have announced that the accident has thus been brought under control. The Government will continue to gather information on the details of the accident and also about its causes.


REPORTER:You have just mentioned that in the Cabinet meeting the Prime Minister made a statement concerning matters pertaining to the interpretation of laws and ordinances by the Cabinet. What was the specific content of these remarks?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:Since the time of the administration of Prime Minister Hatoyama, the position of Director-General of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau has not been registered as a "Special Advisor" to the Government. This will also be the case in the current session of the Diet, and as the Director-General of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau will not therefore be able to respond to Diet questions, it has been decided that with regard to matters concerning interpretation of the Constitution and other legal matters, the ministers with the relevant jurisdiction over legal matters will be called upon to answer Diet questions, and also that Minister of Justice Hiraoka will take responsibility for expressing the Cabinet's views on matters requiring legal interpretation. These were the basic points made by the Prime Minister in his statement.


REPORTER:You have just mentioned the posture that the Cabinet will take during the extraordinary session of the Diet. What stance will you take in regard to the opposition parties?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:Prime Minister Noda has already stated on a number of occasions that he recognizes that the current situation in the Diet is not one in which the Government and ruling parties can simply push through various bills and legislation. Therefore, to date the Government has adopted a posture whereby concepts and draft bills have been submitted to the opposition parties to seek their understanding, and if necessary revisions to draft bills have been made on the basis of consultations. It is through this process of consultation between the ruling and opposition parties that we seek to formulate good legislative bills, which will represent the results of healthy parliamentary democracy in action, as noted by the Prime Minister. This is the posture that the Noda administration would like to adopt going forward.

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