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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Friday, November 2, 2012 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The incident that a United States military serviceman accused of trespassing and assaulting a male junior high school student in Okinawa
  • Oi Nuclear Power Station


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question in relation to the incident that occurred after midnight this morning. I have heard that the United States' military serviceman has been hospitalized, but after he is discharged from hospital, will the Government request extradition prior to his indictment?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The Okinawa Prefecture Police is currently investigating the incident. The U.S. has also made it clear that they are willing to fully cooperate with the investigation. As a Government representative I must refrain from making any specific comments, as it is a matter currently under investigation. However, I believe that the U.S. is in fact fully cooperating with the Okinawa Prefecture Police investigation; therefore I believe that there is no need to request extradition.

REPORTER: On the same topic, now that this incident has occurred, do you believe that the Japan-United States (U.S.) Status of Forces Agreement, which addresses extradition, should be revised?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: As you may know, improvements have been made over the years through improved implementation of the agreement rather than through changes to the agreement itself. As of last year, a new means to request the transfer of custody prior to indictment has been established. In that sense, there have been some improvements; therefore I do not believe that the incident will trigger a revision of the agreement.

REPORTER: On the same topic, I understand that the U.S. is currently cooperating with the investigation, but I believe that had the offense been committed by a Japanese citizen, the suspect would have undoubtedly already been arrested. Do you believe that the Government will be able to obtain the understanding of Okinawan citizens without detaining the suspect?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: What you just said, "would have undoubtedly already been arrested" is perhaps a little extreme. I believe that the police conduct their investigations on a case by case basis.

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question concerning the Oi Nuclear Power Station. Today, the Nuclear Regulation Authority conducted an assessment of the station. If the Nuclear Regulation Authority concludes that the site may be located on an active fault, will the Government respect that finding?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I answered a similar question this morning based on the same assumption, but I do not wish to comment prematurely on the results. However, either way, the investigation is being completed by specialists who are forming subjective and scientific opinions. Therefore the Nuclear Regulation Authority will come to an independent, neutral and fair conclusion and there is no doubt that the Government will respect that conclusion.

REPORTER: On a related topic, I believe that it was the four ministers' meeting, which included the Prime Minister, that confirmed the safety of the plant in June. How does the Government view the fact that there is now an investigation that may contradict the findings of the first investigation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: As I also emphasized at the time, it was not politicians who drew conclusions on safety. The four ministers' meeting approved conclusions made by specialists after comprehensively investigating nearly one year's worth of events, factual information and other information accumulated over time. However, when unexpected matters arise, the Government is, of course, willing to respect the opinions of specialists on each occasion.

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