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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The procedures for restarting the operations of nuclear power stations
  • Japan-China relations (the Senkaku Islands)

REPORTER: With regard to the procedures for restarting the operations of nuclear power stations, the Governor of Fukui Prefecture and others have expressed complaints that the recent explanations provided by you and the Government do not make clear who is held accountable. Can you please share your thoughts on this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: As I have said repeatedly, I believe it is very clear. In other words, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) will confirm the safety. NRA will carefully confirm the safety. Therefore, there is no room for any political judgment to be made with respect to safety. Then, when safety is confirmed, as per the formal decision made by the Noda Cabinet, a range of policy resources will be mobilized to enable Japan to achieve zero operating nuclear power stations by the 2030s. In this process, in other words, until this is realized, those nuclear power stations whose safety is confirmed will be utilized as a vital power source. This is the process that will be taken with regard to the restarting of operations of nuclear power stations. Apart from this, there may still be concerns with respect to the explanations provided to the local communities and so on. However, the primary priority is for nuclear operators to offer explanations to everyone in the communities. Of course, the Government will give explanations to those concerned in host municipalities as necessary, as I have stated repeatedly. Therefore, I believe it is very clear. As long as it is necessary to make further efforts to obtain understanding, the Government will naturally give careful explanations to host municipalities and others.


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question in relation to the nationalization of the Senkaku Islands. Today marks exactly one month since the decision was made at the ministerial meeting to nationalize the islands. Amid assessments that this decision has resulted in some frictions between Japan and China, especially their economic relations, how does the Japanese Government intend to overcome this situation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: With one month having passed, I would like people to recall the following. Going back to why it was decided that the Government would reaquire and possess own the islands, it is because, above all, while the islands were owned by an individual, it was the owner who first expressed a wish to "sell" the islands. Amid the existence of other possible buyers, the Government decided to acquire ownership rights from the standpoint of continuing to, as I always say, maintain and manage the islands peacefully and stably over the long-term. This was the decision that was made a month ago. Regarding the events which have unfolded since then, as you said, even today there are Chinese "Haijin" vessels in the contiguous zone, the Government regards the outbreak of this situation as very deplorable. Japan, while avoiding the escalation of this situation, will of course continue to carry out warning and surveillance activities in partnership with the relevant ministries and agencies with a sense of vigilance. Furthermore, with both countries sharing the view that the stable enhancement of overall bilateral relations should not be impaired, Japan will continue to urge China to take calm and appropriate responses in view of the bigger picture, and Japan, too, intends to take such responses. In addition, Japan must seize various opportunities to explain its position and views to other countries or to the foreign media and disseminate this information to the international community. While the Government has been doing this, it will further step up these efforts with a view to bringing this situation to a conclusion.

REPORTER: I have a related question. As you stated a moment ago, the initial objective was to peacefully and stably maintain and manage the islands. One month later, in what way or to what extent has this objective been achieved as of now in your view?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: By acquiring and possessing the islands which had been leased so far, we now have in place an arrangement for peacefully and stably maintaining and managing the islands over the long-term. However, given that a variety of events have occurred in the last month as I stated earlier, a range of efforts will be made toward resolving them.


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