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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday, November 5, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Oi Nuclear Power Station
  • Japan's plan to host "The Friends of the Syrian People International Working Group on Sanctions" meeting in Tokyo
  • The second round of economic measures
  • The accident involving Japanese citizens in the vicinity of the Great Wall of China


REPORTER: I have a question concerning Oi Nuclear Power Station. Over the weekend a team of experts implemented an on-site survey of the power station as a result of which there were some differences in opinion regarding whether the fault in the vicinity of the power station is an active fault or not. Surveys are continuing, but given the fact that there are questions about whether the fault is active, could you provide us with the view of the Government on this issue?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The reason why this survey was initiated in the first place was due to recognition of such issues, and what is most important, therefore, is that the experts of the Nuclear Regulation Authority engage in thorough study of the site. I hear that an evaluation meeting was also held yesterday, although no conclusions have yet been drawn. Surveys will continue to be implemented until November 7, when a second evaluation meeting is planned to be held. It is the Government's expectation that the experts on site will engage in scientific and objective study and will carefully consider whether the fault fracture zone is active or not.

REPORTER: I have a question relating to Syria. There are a number of press reports that suggest an international meeting on the subject of sanctions against the Assad Administration will be held at the end of the month in Tokyo. What is the current status of this meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Currently arrangements are being made towards holding the 5th meeting of "The Friends of the Syrian People International Working Group on Sanctions" meeting in Tokyo at the end of this month. In terms of content, the meeting is being held with the aim of enhancing the effectiveness of sanctions imposed by like-minded countries and improving the impact they have on the Syrian administration. The meeting also aims to step up the symbolic pressure on the Syrian government by increasing the number of countries that are imposing sanctions. These efforts are also being implemented at the working level and arrangements are currently in progress.

REPORTER: You have just mentioned that the meeting will aim to "increase the number of countries that are imposing sanctions." Is this one of the reasons relating to the aim to hold the meeting in Tokyo?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: This meeting has previously been convened in April, June, July and September. Currently, arrangements are being made for the fifth meeting, and as you note, the aims of the meeting and its significance will be in increasing the number of countries imposing sanctions and ensuring that effective pressure is placed on the Syrian administration. This is what is anticipated to take place at the meeting.


REPORTER: With regard to the second round of economic measures that are expected to be finalized at the end of this month, according to some press reports, these measures will amount to a maximum of 2.7 trillion yen. What is the current status of compilation of these economic measures?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: As I have stated previously, and as the Prime Minister himself has also instructed, it has been decided that these measures will be decided by the end of November at the latest. They are based on policy pillars such as regulatory reform, promotion of investment and funding from the private sector, bringing forward the timetable for the Comprehensive Strategy for the Rebirth of Japan, and also for near-term recovery and reconstruction from the Great East Japan Earthquake, as well as disaster prevention and reduction measures in preparation for any future large-scale disaster. There is no change to the Government's intention to determine these measures and implement them swiftly and considerations have already begun with regard to their content. As for the figures that have been mentioned in the press, there is not one scrap of truth to such figures. My response, therefore, is the same as previously, namely that considerations are ongoing.

REPORTER: There have been reports concerning the deaths of three Japanese citizens at the Great Wall of China. What information does the Government have about this matter at the present time?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I will give you the facts of the matter as they stand at the current time, based on a report received from the Japanese Embassy in China. According to information received from Chinese authorities, four Japanese citizens and one Chinese citizen were stranded in the vicinity of the Great Wall of China, on the outskirts of Zhangjiakou City in Hebei Province. According to information from local authorities, two out of the four Japanese citizens have died, one has been rescued and one remains missing. The Government wishes to thank the local authorities for their cooperation in this matter. The Japanese tour company that arranged the tour for these people is Amuse Travel Co., Ltd., and according to the local Chinese guide dispatched by the company, three out of the four Japanese citizens have perished, although there are conflicting reports. Due to weather conditions in the locality the gathering of further information is proving difficult, but based on current information the Japanese Embassy in China is continuing efforts to confirm the personal identification of the Japanese citizens involved and their condition. From the perspective of protecting the lives and well-being of Japanese citizens the Government will continue to gather information from Chinese authorities and provide all necessary and possible support.

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