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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Friday, September 16, 2011 (AM)

Press Conference by the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Saito

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SAITO:I will be holding a press conference this morning on behalf of Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura. As you know, the House of Councillors is currently in their plenary session.

A Cabinet meeting was held a short while ago, and I would like to provide you with a summary of that meeting. Six general affairs and other matters as well as Cabinet orders and a personnel matter were decided on. In terms of ministerial statements, Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura commented on the selection of heads of independent administrative agencies. Later, statements were made on the same topic by the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister of Finance, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, and the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. Moreover, Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura expressed his approval that President Hiroshi Nonoyama of the National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan (NCAC), whose term is to end on September 30, will be reappointed to the post starting October 1.

I would now like to report on the First Ministerial Meeting on Okinawa, which was held before the Cabinet Meeting. The First Ministerial Meeting on Okinawa was held with the participation of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister of Defense, Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs, and the Minister of Finance. This meeting addresses the various issues concerning reducing the burden of bases on Okinawa and promotion and development of Okinawa, and is held so that related ministers can engage in frank exchanges of opinions in order for the Government to tackle these issues in an earnest and unified manner. The Government will continue to address the issues in an integrated manner while consulting related ministers.



REPORTER:A short while ago the ruling and opposition parties agreed to extend the current Diet session by 14 days. How does the Prime Minister's Office view the two-week extension of the Diet session, which was scheduled to conclude today?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SAITO:This is truly a matter that is completely decided on in the Diet, and it is our job as the Cabinet - as the Government - to squarely face such decisions. However, as you know, the Prime Minister and other related ministers already have diplomatic schedules, which I was just asked about, so in actuality there are certain periods of time that they will not be available even if the session is extended. I believe that the Diet made their decision with understanding of these circumstances, so the Cabinet will do its best and make a wholehearted effort to respond to the various questions by parliamentary groups at the Diet committees, during the Diet session that has been agreed on.


REPORTER:The issues of Kii Peninsula was brought up, but has the issue of a serious disaster caused by Typhoon No. 12 been taken up in ministerial discussions?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SAITO:I believe that the minister in charge has already talked about this, but efforts to assess the damage were expedited. At present, it is found that the amount of damage meets the set criterion, so the decision was made to designate damage caused to public works facilities and farmland as a serious disaster based on this criterion. The official procedures will be carried out once preparations are in place, but the decision itself has been made. I believe that the minister in charge has already explained about this.

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