Press Conference by the Prime Minister regarding His Visit to Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures and Other Matters

March 12, 2022
 [Provisional Translation]
(On how the Government will respond to concerns about reputational damage that may be caused by the planned release of treated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station into the ocean)
We understand that those in the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake are now facing double and even triple hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to solid support for the rebuilding of industries and other means of livelihood, such as the revival of market channels of the fish processing sector, which is the main industry in the affected areas, along with efforts to enhance the attractiveness of local sightseeing spots, all possible measures to deal with the negative effects of the COVID-19 must be taken, such as business revival support money and cash-flow support. Regarding your question about the ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System) treated water, we believe that it is important to create reassurance by ensuring safety through gaining cooperation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), among other things, and informing the Japanese public and the rest of the world of its safety in an easy-to-understand manner. We also believe that it is necessary for the Government to commit to making every possible effort to take measures against reputational damage with a determination to prevent any such damage from occurring. We believe that it is important for us to gain understanding of local people by ensuring safety and providing clear explanations about it, as well as taking reliable measures to address reputational damage.
(On how the Japanese Government will consider additional sanctions against Russia given the joint statement announced by the G7 leaders and whether the G7 leaders plan to hold talks to discuss how to deal with Russia in the near future)
Yesterday, we the Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) issued the G7 Leaders' Statement. In the statement, we pointed out that Russia's invasion of Ukraine shakes the very foundation of the international order and stressed that the G7 will never tolerate such acts. We also reiterated we stand united and in solidarity with Ukraine and with this in mind, we expressed our intention to take further concrete measures through cooperating among the G7 nations. The statement covers various challenges, including those in the financial and energy sectors and the Japanese Government will cooperate with the G7 to take concrete actions in line with the statement. Regarding your question about sanctions, we understand that each government is now preparing to take concrete actions down the road and the Japanese Government will actively consider what we can do in light of cooperation. With regard to G7 summit meetings, we recently had a video teleconference. I believe it is highly likely that we coordinate among the leaders in such formats as necessary down the road. No specific date has been set for a summit, but the situation in Ukraine is changing as we speak. So, I believe it is important for the G7 to maintain communication to flexibly respond to such changes. The G7 is working together not only at summit meetings, but also at various other levels, such as those of energy ministers and finance ministers. We will continue to make efforts to enhance such existing cooperation frameworks from such various perspectives.
 (On how the Japanese Government will respond to the expected increase in the number of Ukrainian evacuees that municipalities in Japan will receive down the road)
As you have mentioned, there was a similar discussion in Rikuzentakata City and I have just heard that Ishinomaki City is also willing to receive evacuees. We imagine that other municipalities are also ready to receive them. The Japanese Government has already announced that it is ready to accept evacuees from Ukraine who have fled to a third country. The Government will respond by listening to specific voices of those concerned, including the intentions of evacuees and whether they wish to be accepted by Japan, along with what kind of life they hope to lead in Japan. It is therefore difficult for us to announce now how specifically we plan to receive and treat them. However, as the situation is changing all the time, we will stand with Ukrainians and listen to what they really want so that we can cope up with how best we can live up to their expectations in accepting them in cooperation with municipalities.

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