Thursday, March 22, 2012 (PM)
Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)
REPORTER: Changing the subject, what are the Government's thoughts on the schedule or the plan for holding a meeting of the National Security Council in response to North Korea's satellite launch announcement? If it is still undecided, at the latest by when do you expect to make that decision? Is there any sort of schedule?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: First of all, the Government believes it is important most of all that Japan, or Japan together with neighboring countries, urge North Korea until the very end to refrain from actions that will erode peace and stability in the region. Meanwhile, I also believe that it is necessary to take all possible measures to protect the safety of the lives and assets of the people, in the case that North Korea does launch an "earth observation satellite." From this perspective, the Ministry of Defense is now making a variety of considerations. As of this moment, as of right now, no specific policy has been set regarding the holding of a meeting of the National Security Council and the issuing of a shoot down order. Therefore, this is all I can say in response to questions asked at this time regarding scheduling and other matters.
REPORTER: I have a question regarding the wide-area disposal of the debris from the Great East Japan Earthquake. Prefectures, including Hokkaido, Osaka, and Shizuoka, are to establish their own radiation safety standards for accepting the debris. These standards are more stringent than the Government's, such as up to 100Bq (per kilogram). While this is being permitted as a way to deal with the doubts that many municipalities have toward the Government's standard, what are the Government's thoughts on such independent standards established by local governments?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: First, we believe that the Government's standard provides for sufficient safety. However, since we are in the position of asking the local governments for their cooperation, we will not be making objections even if some local governments set out more cautious standards. We are in the position of leaving the decision up to the respective local governments and asking for their cooperation.
REPORTER: I have a related question. This would mean that some communities will have two sets of standards as a result. Do you judge that this is fine?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The Government's standard sets forth 240Bq. The Government has made it clear that while there is a slight range depending on the material, we have been clearly stating that our standard is 240Bq.