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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

October 5, 2016 (AM)

If you can not view the video,click here(Japanese Government Internet TV)
This video's audio is a provisional translation through live simultaneous interpretation.

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Q&As

REPORTER: The ROK newspaper JoongAng Ilbo reported that two high-ranking officials from the North Korean embassy in Beijing in China are wishing to defect to Japan. Can you please tell us what the Japanese Government is aware of?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, it is not true that North Korean nationals seeking to defect to Japan made contact with the Japanese Embassy in China, as was reported in the news report you are referring to. In addition, we are unaware that there are North Korean nationals seeking to defect to Japan.

REPORTER: I have a related question. Is it true that North Korean officials have recently made contact of some form, indirectly or directly, with Japanese diplomatic missions overseas or Japanese Government agencies?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: No, it is not true.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: It was reported that the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan (FEPC) has informally asked the Government to inject 8 trillion yen in additional government funding to cover the costs of damage compensation and decontamination associated with the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station of Tokyo Electric Power Company. Is this true? Secondly, let us say that FEPC makes a formal request. Will the Government be willing to consider this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First, it is not true that the Government received the sort of request as was reported. Therefore, we have absolutely no knowledge of the estimate you have referred to. However, in any case, the electricity market will be fully liberalized. We expect that there will steadily be more competition going forward. It is a fact that various challenges will need to be dealt with, including the cost of decommissioning. In order to deal with these challenges, we have been briefed that the council of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and other fora will be undertaking thorough reviews, not just of the cost allocations for compensation and decommissioning, but also of a variety of perspectives, including bringing the accident under control, realizing smooth decommissioning, and ensuring fairness among the beneficiaries.

REPORTER: I have a related question. In any case, even if there is no truth to the reports, it seems highly likely that the costs will increase. If they were to be covered by government funding, this would ultimately have a significant impact on the lives of the people. What is your view in this regard?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to refrain from responding to your question at this stage as we do not yet have a figure. However, it is true that a variety of challenges including decommissioning cost will need to be dealt with. To deal with these challenges, it is important that the council and other fora carry out thorough discussions.

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