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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Government's energy policy
  • The TPP
  • The Follow-up Meeting for Postal Reform Issues


REPORTER: I believe that the Government's approach to nuclear power stations is that it will mobilize all possible policy resources with the aim of having no nuclear power stations in operation by the end of the 2030s. However, the new political party led by Ms. Kada has been more specific and assertive, saying that they will gradually reduce the number of nuclear power stations in operation. Since the Government has its own policies for reducing nuclear power dependency, how realistic does the Government believe the new party's policy is?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The Government has a strategy that has been approved by the Cabinet and is confident that following this strategy is the most realistic method. The Government is planning to make a number of investments in order to reduce the number of nuclear power stations in operation to zero by the end of the 2030s; therefore all possible policies will be mobilized to achieve this target. I understand that there have been various opinions, but as the national Government, it is important that we make realistic plans and keep working to achieve the desired outcome.


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) manifesto released yesterday stated that "the Government will decide." Firstly, I understand that you are of the belief that the TPP is a relatively important issue and that it will possibly be a point of contention during the lead up to the election. Therefore considerations were made to partially leave the decision up to the electorate. However, now that the manifesto includes the phrase "the Government will decide" does this mean that the election result may affect the Government's decision?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: When the ruling party compiled TPP issues back in September, the report stated that the decision as to whether Japan enters into diplomatic negotiations on the TPP is to be decided by the Government. Therefore, I understand that yesterday's manifesto from the ruling party, or DPJ, is not that dissimilar from that report. Therefore I understand that the party will make this stance clear in the lead up to the election. As for the current Government, we will adhere to this policy. The Government has been conducting preliminary consultations toward participating in the negotiations since last year, or more than one year ago, and our stance has not changed.

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question on a related topic. The Government has been working for the last year to obtain understanding from the public with regard to the TPP. In the event that the DPJ, whose manifesto clearly demonstrates its pro-TPP stance, cannot win sufficient seats in the election, do you believe that it will influence the Government's decision as to whether or not the Government will participate in the TPP negotiations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: After the Government and the party instigated national debate on numerous occasions, I understand that we have obtained some degree of support for our general policy direction, by that I mean support for participating in the TPP negotiations. However, an election is an election and therefore I understand that we will need to accept the result.

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question in relation to the Follow-up Meeting for Postal Reform Issues held yesterday. It appears that Minister Shimoji, Minister Tarutoko and Minister Nakatsuka contradicted each other in relation to Japan Post Insurance's new product. Minister Shimoji and Minister Tarutoko said that permission will be granted in regard to the two acts on November 30, while Minister Nakatsuka stated that it is uncertain whether he will grant permission in terms of the Insurance Business Act. Which understanding is correct?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I believe the summary from yesterday's Follow-up Meeting is correct. The meeting is chaired by Minister for Postal Service Privatization Shimoji, and yesterday's conclusion was that Japan Post Insurance's new product will be granted conditional approval, assuming that provision of the service will commence on April 1 next year, and that both approvals will be obtained on November 30. This is the correct and latest decision as of today.

REPORTER: Does that mean you are planning to hold another Follow-up Meeting, or Cabinet meeting with the relevant ministers, before November 30?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: No, that is not correct, the relevant ministries and agencies are currently making arrangements with the aim of obtaining approval in terms of both the Postal Service Privatization Act and the Insurance Business Act by November 30.

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