Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  October 2011 >  Wednesday, October 19, 2011 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER:In addition to Minister Renho, I believe that Minister Furukawa also met with you today. Could you tell us what you talked about?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:We talked about the National Strategy Council, the broad framework for which was recently decided. Following the creation of the new Council it will be necessary to make decisions on the realignment of other existing councils and meetings, such as the Council on the Realization of the New Growth Strategy, and Minister Furukawa presented a proposal concerning how to proceed. He provided a report about the means of dissolving various existing bodies following the first meeting of the National Strategy Council or sometime before that, noting that he would seek to dissolve those, which were established at past Cabinet meetings, at the Cabinet meeting this weekend or next week.

REPORTER:So at the earliest these other councils will be dissolved at the time of the Cabinet meeting on Friday?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:Yes, in the earliest scenario they would be dissolved on Friday.

REPORTER:What sort of outlook does the Government have concerning the scale of the restructuring of these various government bodies and councils?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:Looking at the numbers specifically, I believe that there will be more than 10 bodies that are dissolved.

REPORTER:Will the more-than-10 bodies to be dissolved be predominantly those that have been attended by the Prime Minister?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:That is the case for the Council on the Realization of the New Growth Strategy, yes. It will be dissolved and its work will be transferred to the National Strategy Council. The Council on the Realization of the New Growth Strategy has been dealing with a number of issues, and these will all be placed under the National Strategy Council and advanced under its auspices.

REPORTER:On a related note it has been reported that the National Strategy Council will not deal with tax and social security issues. What is the current status of considerations among the Government and the ruling parties concerning the forum for discussion on these issues?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:These issues will primarily be dealt with by the meetings of the Government and ruling parties on social security and tax reforms. Naturally, as I mentioned the other day, it will not be the case that the National Strategy Council will have no involvement in these issues.

REPORTER:So do you envisage that the form of the meetings which formulated the final draft for social security and tax reforms by this June will remain in place?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:Yes, I understand that the meetings between the Government and ruling parties will remain in place.


REPORTER:There have been reports that Japan and the United States will engage in joint experiments with regard to methane hydrate extraction. Could you tell us about the Government's stance on this issue and what efforts will be implemented in the future concerning methane hydrate?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:I believe that there have been reports concerning joint experiments between Japan and the United States into methods of extracting methane hydrate. Yesterday in the United States, the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) concluded a Participation Agreement with ConocoPhillips Company of the United States on the implementation of joint research concerning methane hydrate. This joint research is being conducted as a means of advancing efforts towards the commercialization of methane hydrate and is therefore something that the Government welcomes, given that Japan is a resource-poor nation. Today in Paris, Minister Edano held a meeting with Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu of the United States, in which it was agreed that Japan and the United States would strengthen their cooperation in the field of methane hydrate. Given that methane hydrate is a new natural resource, the Agreement is considered to be a positive development for Japan.


REPORTER:This morning Minister Hosono and Chairman of the Nippon Keidanren Hiromasa Yonekura held a meeting in which the minister indicated an intention to adhere to the existing policy according to the Basic Act of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 25 per cent. Is it the Government's policy to maintain the policy of reducing emissions by 25 per cent?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:I believe that Minister Hosono was stating the Government's position.

REPORTER:Following the meeting Mr. Yonekura indicated that while it may be difficult to revise the 25 per cent figure in international negotiations there may be some room for revision. What are your thoughts on this opinion about there being "room for revision"?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA:As I was not present at the meeting and am not therefore aware of the context of Mr. Yonekura's comments, I would like to refrain from making comments at this time.

Page Top

Related Link