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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Friday, September 30, 2011 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:First, I will give an overview of today's Cabinet meeting. The meeting approved 15 general and other measures, and also the promulgation of cabinet orders and personnel decisions. With regard to statements by ministers, Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications reported on the results of a labor force survey and the results of consumer price index and household budget surveys. The Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare gave a report on the national ratio of jobs to applicants (for August 2011) and cooperation for the Community Chest Movement campaign, which will start tomorrow. The Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology made a statement about personnel decisions regarding the heads of national university corporations, and Prime Minister Noda made a statement concerning the ministers who will serve as acting Cabinet members during their absence for overseas visits.

In ministerial discussions following the Cabinet meeting, Minister Kawabata made a statement regarding an enlargement of the lump-sum provision of government subsidies, etc.
Furthermore, the first meeting of the Strategic Headquarters for Space Development under the Noda Cabinet was held prior to today's Cabinet meeting. The meeting approved a basic concept for promoting a practical Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) program and the establishment of a mechanism for the strategic promotion of the development and use of outer space. Minister Furukawa, who is in charge, will give an explanation on this at his press conference following the Cabinet meeting.

One more item. The first meeting of the Council on the Promotion of Private Finance Initiatives, which was established pursuant to the revised Act on Promotion of Private Finance Initiative, was held before today's Cabinet meeting. The three agenda items discussed were: the significance of establishing the Council on the Promotion of Private Finance Initiatives; the revised Act on the Promotion of Private Finance Initiatives; and the formulation of a basic policy on the implementation of private finance initiatives. I believe Minister of State Renho, who is in charge, will be giving a report about the details to reporters.



REPORTER:I have a question regarding the lifting of the designation of the Evacuation-Prepared Areas in case of Emergency. I believe today, the Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters will be holding a meeting and is expected to lift the designation. If you wouldn't mind explaining again, can you discuss the prospects of the designation being lifted today and what the Government intends to do to enable the residents to quickly return to their homes, including decontamination and infrastructure development?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:The designation of the Evacuation Prepared Areas in case of Emergency will be lifted today. A meeting of the Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters will be held this evening, and the lifting of the designation is expected to be approved at the meeting. The reconstruction plans submitted by each municipality indeed vary. The Government will offer firm support for the decontamination and other tasks, which will be carried out based on the reconstruction plans as much as possible.


REPORTER:The House of Councillors is expected to establish an investigation committee for the accident at the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)'s Fukushima Nuclear Power Station. What is the Government's view on the establishment of this committee at the Diet, when the Government has already established the Investigation and Verification Committee on the Accident? Also, what are the Government's thoughts on maintaining a balance between the two committees?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:First, if I may begin with your question about maintaining balance, the Government's committee carries out thorough investigations and verifications from an extremely neutral position. Therefore, the Government is not in a position to say what should happen to this committee moving forward. The Government cannot comment on these matters regarding balance. Also, regarding the accident investigation committee to be established at the Diet, the Government intends to make utmost efforts and offer its maximum cooperation for their investigations into the accident.


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