Press Conference by Prime Minister Kishida Regarding His Visit to the United States and Other Matters

August 18, 2023

[Provisional translation]


(On the impressions and thoughts regarding the Summit Meeting at Camp David)
It was truly significant and impressive that the three leaders gathered today at Camp David, which is not only a site of historic importance, but also, as President Biden said during the press conference, a symbol of a new beginning. I feel that the three of us were able to candidly exchange views during the meeting in a very calm atmosphere. In doing so, we were able to achieve highly meaningful and significant accomplishments from three perspectives, as I spoke at the press conference: firstly, elevating Japan-U.S.-ROK security cooperation to a higher level; secondly, expanding the scope of Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation; and thirdly, laying the foundation for the continuous and stable strengthening of Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation. I had a satisfying day.
(On the fatigue after the Summit Meeting)
I don’t feel particularly tired for the moment.
(On whether there was any exchange regarding the ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System) treated water during the Japan-U.S.-ROK or Japan-U.S. summit talks; whether the Prime Minister has plans to visit Fukushima or offer explanations to those in the fisheries industry after returning to Japan; and his thoughts on the timing to start discharging the treated water into the sea)
While there was an exchange regarding the ALPS treated water in the Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting, there was no discussion on the topic in the Japan-U.S.-ROK summit nor in the Japan-ROK summit.
After returning to Japan late at night on August 19, I plan to visit the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station on August 20. The discharge of ALPS treated water is an issue that cannot be postponed in order to steadily advance the decommissioning of the power station and press on the reconstruction of Fukushima. While I have so far stated that the discharge of ALPS treated water is expected to start around spring or summer this year, the International Atomic Energy Agency in early July compiled a Comprehensive Report that concludes, from scientific and professional viewpoints, that the discharge of ALPS treated water into the sea is consistent with relevant international safety standards and will have negligible radiological impact on people and the environment. With this, we have continued to provide detailed explanations to those concerned in Japan and overseas. I believe that we have reached the final stage where the Government should make a decision, by comprehensively considering several factors, such as how we could minimize the impact on the fisheries industry. In making a national decision, I would like to ensure as the head of Government that all possible measures have been taken regarding the discharge of ALPS treated water; that the on-site staff in charge are working on the task with a heavy sense of responsibility; and that top executives of TEPCO are working on the decommissioning and the reconstruction with a strong determination, while also directly expressing my own thoughts to them. Regarding the possible meeting with the head of the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations (Zengyoren), Minister Nishimura is currently in close communication with the fisheries side, and, based on this, I hope to meet the president at some point.
We will determine the specific timing to start the discharge after assessing the status of efforts to ensure safety and to prevent reputational damage, among other factors, under the initiative of the Government as a whole. Let me therefore refrain from commenting at this moment based on prejudgment.
(On the possibility of starting the discharge before the end of the month)
We have continuously been providing detailed and varied explanations. Having said this, we will ultimately determine the timing to start the discharge after assessing the status of efforts to ensure safety and to prevent reputational damage under the initiative of the Government as a whole, as I have just stated. I have also said that I will refrain from commenting on the timing at this moment based on prejudgment.
(On the appointment of LDP executives and the Cabinet reshuffle)
As I have been saying so far, the basic policy of the Kishida Cabinet is to address issues that cannot be postponed and achieve results. Regarding the appointment of LDP executives and Cabinet members, I would like to make decisions strictly based on the principle of putting the right person in the right place. As far as the timetable is concerned at least, nothing has been decided at the moment.


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