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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, November 29, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • TEPCO's rehabilitation

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question in relation to Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). With regard to nuclear policy, several political parties have come to the scene for the upcoming general election with a campaign pledge to let TEPCO go bankrupt. I believe their plan for TEPCO's rehabilitation is different from the plan of the current administration, which carried out a de facto nationalization of TEPCO. What is the Government's opinion of this idea of letting TEPCO go bankrupt?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The Government is currently taking the necessary path as determined through a range of discussions. If so-called legal proceedings are taken, TEPCO will not be able to sufficiently meet the victims' claims for compensation, and furthermore, the enterprises that are engaged in the work of bringing the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station to a conclusion may not be able to execute their claims. Therefore, in order to make steady progress in compensation payments and decommissioning, the Government is now taking the path forward based on the conclusion we made, whereby TEPCO pursues reform in accordance with the  Comprehensive Special Business Plan and  the Act on Nuclear Damage Liability Facilitation Fund Act, without TEPCO going bankrupt or carrying out other legal proceedings. The Government will closely follow the progress.

REPORTER: I have a related question. In the existing scheme, the restarting of operations of Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Station is included. Nevertheless, the Nuclear Regulation Authority's slow progress with the rulemaking process is casting somewhat of a dark shadow over the prospects of achieving a smooth rehabilitation. What are the Government's current opinions on this matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: At this time today, I cannot make any premature statements yet about the prospects of what lies ahead. The prospects may become dim. However, this is not yet the stage at which to make any kind of judgments.

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