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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:As this press conference directly follows the Cabinet meeting, I will provide an overview of the meeting. Approval was made on 53 general and other matters, Cabinet orders, and personnel decisions. Concerning ministerial comments, the Minister for Foreign Affairs commented on emergency grant aid in response to flood damage in Pakistan, and I commented on personnel decisions relating to the heads of independent administrative institutions.

In ministerial discussions, Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Motohisa Furukawa commented on the advanced implementation of comprehensive countermeasures against the appreciation of the yen, and Minister Renho and the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare commented on recommendations by the Comprehensive Welfare Subcommittee on a framework for the Comprehensive Welfare Act for Persons with Disabilities. Furthermore, the Minister for Foreign Affairs spoke about his attendance at the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly, the Minister of Finance spoke about the Meeting of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry commented on his official visit to Indonesia and Singapore, and Minister Goshi Hosono commented about his attendance at the 55th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

At today's Cabinet meeting, concerning the comments I made, the head of the Northern Territories Issue Association, an independent administrative institution, Masaharu Mase, whose term is to end on September 30, has been approved to continue an additional term in office starting October 1.

Also, during the ministerial discussions following the Cabinet meeting, Minister Furukawa reported on policies from among the comprehensive countermeasures against the appreciating yen released in the mid-term report on September 20 that will be implemented in advance in order to promptly respond to downward economic risk. Specifically, this includes the advanced and swift engagement and implementation of measures such as easing the requirements of employment adjustment subsidies, extending the period for safety net loans for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and swiftly employing and promoting the utilization of the framework for foreign M&A and resource procurement by taking advantage of the appreciating yen. It is my understanding that Minister Furukawa will be reporting on this to the press, so please forward your inquiries to him.



REPORTER:Today, National Public Safety Commission (NPSC) Chair Kenji Yamaoka commented that a comprehensive structure was necessary to tackle the issues of cyber terrorism, and it is being said that you responded by saying that you would consider the idea. Please comment on the authenticity of this.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:NPSC Chair Yamaoka expressed his recognition that response to cyber attacks is an important issue in our IT-oriented society for national security and crisis management. He said that the NPSC is continually working on improving the promotion of information security for the information structures of Government bodies, and on enhancing their ability to cope with attacks. In response to the proposal he made, I actually noted that in the near future I would like to hold an Information Security Policy Council meeting chaired by myself to work to strengthen countermeasures in view of the recent incidents. The Government intends to continue making a concerted and full effort to addressing cyber attacks.

REPORTER:What type of framework will the Information Security Policy Council that you speak of take? Also, I understand that it will be vital for ministries or private sector companies to work together in implementing comprehensive countermeasures due to the nature of the problem, but what form of structure are you specifically considering? Also, from when do you plan on launching this new structure?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:In the near future. We are currently making arrangements so that we can hold the temporarily convened first meeting as early as next week. We intend to create a structure that includes related ministers and of course relevant ministry officials under the direction of the Chief Cabinet Secretary. Concerning collaborations between the government and the private sector, I believe that it is exactly as you say.

REPORTER:On a completely unrelated matter, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Mottainai (meaning "what a waste!" in Japanese) Campaign promoter Dr. Wangari Maathai has passed away. What is your reaction to her death?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:She spread the Japanese term "mottainai" to the rest of the world. In that sense, for Japanese citizens as well she has made a great contribution by spreading a spirit, or moral value, original to Japan to the world. I was tremendously disappointed to learn of her passing.


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