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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, December 22, 2011 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER: According to certain media reports, the Cabinet Office has finalized plans to establish something like a space strategy unit. Please tell us whether this is true, and if it is, please tell us what sort of organization you imagine this will be.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The Government will create within the Cabinet Office the position of Director-General of Space Exploration (provisional name) to oversee our policy regarding matters of space. We are currently coordinating matters in the direction of establishing a Space Strategy Unit which this Director-General will be placed in charge of. Our plans are for the Space Strategy Unit (provisional name) to act as a kind of control tower for space strategy, overseeing the development, creation and operation of quasi-zenith satellite systems - among other matters - from the perspective of strategically advancing the development and usage of space. We plan to introduce related, necessary legislation to the next session of the Diet.


REPORTER: This morning Mr. Masahiko Kondo and Ms. Tetsuko Kuroyanagi met the Prime Minister and requested that pandas be borrowed from China and sent to Sendai. What sort of response is the Government thinking to take regarding the borrowing of pandas for Sendai?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The Government views the invitation of pandas to the disaster areas as joyful and hot news. The Prime Minister is visiting China and it is planned that he will convey to the Chinese Government the intention to invite pandas this weekend, supporting any action they want to take on this. I heard people talking about pandas just a moment ago near the elevators and I didn't really understand why, but then I heard that Mr. Masahiko Kondo and people from Johnny & Associates had made a courtesy call on the Prime Minister along with Ms. Tetsuko Kuroyanagi and the Deputy Mayor of Sendai and requested that the Japanese Government propose to the Chinese side during the Japan-China Summit Meeting that pandas be sent to Sendai. The Prime Minister's comment on this was along the same lines as what I just said.


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