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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, September 21, 2011 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:I would like to report on the Government's ongoing response to the heavy rains caused by Typhoon No. 15. I will begin with an update on the latest status. At around 2:00pm today, Typhoon No. 15 made landfall close to the city of Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture and so far has caused tremendously heavy rain over a wide area, from the Tokai region up to northern Japan. In addition, rainfall had increased the water levels of so-called "landslide dams" in Akatani, Otocho in Gojo City in Nara Prefecture and in Iya in Tanabe City in Wakayama Prefecture; however, since 11:00am today the water levels have been decreasing. This would suggest the possibility that these landslide dams have overflowed, in which case there is a considerable danger that the dams themselves could rupture caused by the outflow of water. In addition, rivers have overflowed their banks and landslides have occurred in many areas and there is a danger that such occurrences could spread further. With regard to damage that has been confirmed so far, it has been reported that there have been four deaths, with two people missing, as well as a number of homes being half destroyed or flooded. I would like to express my prayers for the repose of those who have lost their lives and extend my sincere sympathies to those who have been affected.

The Government has established a liaison office at the Prime Minister's Office and in addition to diligently collecting information on the situation, Government ministries and agencies are working together with the disaster-hit prefectures and local municipalities to engage in emergency disaster response measures, including rescue operations and flood prevention operations. Reports about the situation are being provided regularly to the Prime Minister during his visit to the United States through his aides and the Prime Minister has given instructions that ministries and agencies should make further cooperative efforts with local municipalities to ensure that comprehensive emergency disaster response measures are implemented. The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has stated that maximum caution will continue to be required, due to the ongoing danger of damage from heavy rains, strong winds and high waves over a wide area from eastern to northern Japan. I would like to reiterate my request to the people of Japan to carefully follow information provided by the JMA about heavy rainfall and other dangers, and to comply with evacuation orders and warnings and ensure that they evacuate promptly to safe locations. For the people in the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, there is an increased danger of damage from high tides in areas where ground has subsided and I would like to request residents in those areas to exercise maximum caution.



REPORTER:In this morning's press conference you spoke about a situation in which instead of the private sector providing information immediately, having a cooperative structure with the private sector is preferable. Given the recent case and the need to provide swift and widespread notification and urge caution and vigilance, is the Government considering making improvements to the way information is collected from the private sector in the case of cyber attacks?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:Yesterday a director-level meeting of approximately 50 officials from government ministries and agencies was held on the subject of information security relating to cyber terrorism, etc., and at that meeting it was noted that notification of cases of cyber terrorism should be made and reported, by both Government agencies and related private sector companies. The National Information Security Center (NISC) is a body within the Prime Minister's Office, and it was confirmed this morning that NISC is engaged in further examination of the latest information available. These efforts to examine and consider the latest information will continue to be implemented from now on.


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