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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, October 6, 2011 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER:There are reports that Prime Minister Noda will visit the Republic of Korea on October 18 and 19. What is the status of considerations on this visit and what will be the aims of the visit if it actually takes place?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:The Prime Minister has indicated his own wish to visit the Republic of Korea as soon as possible and coordination efforts are being made towards the realization of this visit. At the current point I am not in a position to speak about the specific schedule and other points.


REPORTER:The Government's third-party committee has pointed out with regard to the estimate of cost prices that form the basis for the calculation of electricity tariffs by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) that "there is an excess of 600 billion yen over a ten-year period." TEPCO has denied and rebutted this point on its website, indicating that such an excess does not exist. What is the Government's view on this point and what will be the future response?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:I am aware of this point and have also seen TEPCO's website, on which it rebuts the observations made in the third-party committee report concerning an excess. However, whatever the case may be, the Government will continue to carefully monitor what measures TEPCO takes to improve business efficiency, which will be detailed in the special business plan to be formulated based on the committee's report.

REPORTER:I have a question concerning the peacekeeping operations (PKO) in South Sudan. Yesterday Minister of Defense Ichikawa indicated his belief that the security situation in South Sudan is stabilizing and becoming calmer. With regard to the dispatch of Self-Defense Force (SDF) personnel, at the current point what areas is the Government concerned about?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:It has been decided to dispatch an additional study team to assess whether there are any such concerns. I believe that I have mentioned this before, but the second study mission is scheduled to visit South Sudan, Kenya and Uganda, where it will engage in expert surveys at the working level on such facilities as airports, ports and customs procedures. The Government will carefully review the results of this study mission.

REPORTER:So are we to understand that a decision on the dispatch of SDF personnel will be made after the return to Japan of the second study team?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:Yes, naturally that will be the case as the team will be dispatched to engage in onsite studies.

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