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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, July 26, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura

  • The matter regarding a list of nominees for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission which requires the consent of the Diet

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Regarding the matter in which a list of nominees for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (requiring the consent of the Diet) was reported by the media before it was presented to the Board of the Committee on Rules and Administration of the Diet, we confirmed how this information was managed by the Government. It could not be confirmed that any Government official had leaked the information to the media. Nevertheless, the information was reported in advance by the media before it was presented to the Diet, and in this regard, the Cabinet's information management system has flaws which need to be reflected upon. As the advance media reports have created confusion regarding the presentation of the list of nominees to the Diet and caused inconvenience to those involved, including the Committee on Rules and Administration and the Diet, today, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda issued a warning to me - my role is to handle matters related to  the list of nominees, requiring the consent of the Diet, in the entire Cabinet, and to Minister Goshi Hosono, the minister in charge of establishing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Moving forward, we will be making efforts to further tighten up information management within the Government.


  • Press reports that Mr. Paul Watson, the leader of Sea Shepherd, left Germany
  • Government's verification and assessment going forward on various investigation findings of the nuclear accident
  • A courtesy call on the Prime Minister by the National Security Adviser to the U.S. President


REPORTER: There is news that Mr. Paul Watson, the leader of the anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd, who was arrested in Germany and released on bail, has left and fled Germany. Can you confirm the facts which the Government is aware of? Also, is it true that the Japanese Government was requesting his provisional detention? If you can, please respond to these two questions.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I am aware of the media reports. The ministries and agencies concerned are now collecting relevant information, including the facts. I have been briefed that on July 19, 2012, the Embassy of Japan in the Federal Republic of Germany submitted to the Federal Foreign Office of Germany a letter requesting his provisional detention based on the Japan Coast Guard's request to German judicial authorities for Mr. Paul Watson's extradition. Regarding the subsequent developments, we are now investigating and collecting information on this.

REPORTER: The Government's Investigation and Verification Committee on the Accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Stations of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the National Diet of Japan's Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC), the Independent Investigation Commission on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident, and TEPCO's Fukushima Nuclear Accidents Investigation Committee and Nuclear Safety and Quality Assurance Meeting Accident Investigation Verification Committee- the four types of investigation committees have completed their investigations and submitted reports. Is my understanding correct that, as Minister Hosono stated recently, the verification and assessment of these investigation findings will be conducted in the context of the new regulatory organization?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The investigation committees of the Government and the Diet put in extensive efforts to compile their reports. I would like to once again express my deep respect to all of those people involved. All investigation committees have now conducted verifications. Moving forward, we will carefully read and review the contents. Although the Nuclear Regulatory Agency will not be established until September, the Government will take any necessary measures which can be taken in the meantime.


REPORTER: A moment ago, National Security Advisor to the President Thomas E. Donilon of the United States (U.S.) made a courtesy call to the Prime Minister. What exchanges took place between the two sides? Also, can you tell us if any exchanges were conducted regarding Osprey?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: During his visit to the U.S. in April, the Prime Minister discussed with President Barack Obama that based on "A Shared Vision for the Future," Japan would like to promote specific cooperation on a wide range of areas and further deepen and enhance the alliance. Advisor Donilon stated that President Obama shares the view that the summit meeting in April was very fruitful, and that it is essential that the two countries leverage this achievement and work together to steadily implement these initiatives. In addition, Advisor Donilon visited China prior to his arrival in Japan, and therefore, explained about his visit to China. Regarding the deployment of Osprey, Prime Minister Noda requested the continued cooperation of the U.S. to present a report on the investigations of the accidents and to confirm the safety of Ospreys, among other matters. In response, Advisor Donilon stated that the U.S. Government will cooperate as much as possible. That is the outline of what was discussed.


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