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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Friday, October 12, 2012 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Oi Nuclear Power Station
  • The Senkaku Islands

REPORTER: I have a question concerning the operation of Oi Nuclear Power Station. Recently the city and prefecture of Osaka have made a request concerning Oi Nuclear Power Station that in order to revise the new safety standards, the power station, which was restarted in the summer, should be shut down once again. Today Governor Matsui has stated that there are no other nuclear power stations in the world that are operating on the basis of provisional standards and that he would like the new standards to be revised, noting that the central government does not seem to share this common perception. Can I ask for your views on the governor's statement and what response the Government will be making?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I may be repeating myself, but I would note that as I have responded previously the request from Osaka city and prefecture was in the form of a document. When considering the restarting of operations at nuclear power stations it has naturally been the case that the most important prerequisite is to ensure safety, based on expert judgment. The safety of the Unit 3 and 4 reactors at Oi Nuclear Power Station was confirmed according to various standards that have been in place since last year. Therefore, the restarting of operations was not merely for a limited time in order to overcome summer energy supply issues. Recently the Nuclear Regulation Authority was established and from now it is this body that will implement the safety regulations for all nuclear power stations from an independent perspective.


REPORTER: Foreign Minister Gemba will be making an overseas visit from October 15. There are press reports that he will use the opportunity presented by this visit to explain Japan's position concerning the Senkaku Islands. At the recent United Nations General Assembly the Minister met with seven countries and also explained Japan's position about the Senkaku Islands, but in all these cases did not explain the position regarding Takeshima. Is it the Government's intention to differentiate between the Senkaku Islands and Takeshima? Is it the intention to handle them in distinct and different ways?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Rather than referring to the handling as being a distinction between the two, I think it can be seen that the two cases are clearly different and you will be aware yourself that the issues are completely different from each other. So, in that sense, when you refer to differentiation between the two cases, I would agree with you. In particular, with regard to the Senkaku Islands, this is an issue between Japan and China, the world's second and third-largest economies, which presents some difficult issues in economic relations and therefore the Government is seeking to explain its stance to other countries concerned. On the other hand, with regard to the issue of Takeshima, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has amassed a great deal of documentation, which is available on the ministry's website. In that sense, if it is the case that Minister Gemba has stated that he will discuss the situation surrounding the Senkaku Islands on his overseas visit, then I accept it in that way.


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