Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  January 2012 >  Wednesday, January 18, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: From 8:30am today, the Government-RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation) Summit Meeting was held. Attending from the Government side were Prime Minister Noda, Deputy Prime Minister Okada, Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications Kawabata, Minister of Finance Azumi, Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Komiyama, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Edano, Minister for National Policy Furukawa, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretaries Saito and Nagahama, and myself. Attending from the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) were Secretary General Koshiishi and Acting Secretary General Tarutoko. Attending from RENGO were President Koga, Deputy Presidents Tokunaga and Okamoto, Vice President Kato, General Secretary Nagumo, and five Assistant General Secretaries. In today's meeting an exchange of opinions was held on draft bills submitted to the Diet by the Government, including the draft budget for fiscal 2012 and for the comprehensive reform of social security and tax systems.


REPORTER: I have a question concerning the amendment to the Act on Special Measures Concerning Nuclear Emergency Preparedness. Yesterday, in the Joint Investigation Committee of the DPJ, the Government proposed that while the amendment will, in principle, set a limit of 40 years for the decommissioning of nuclear reactors, in exceptional circumstances a period of 60 years could be permitted. This proposal was criticized for watering down the amendment to the Act. How does the Government intend to further proceed with considerations and deliberations in this regard?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The reform of nuclear safety regulations are currently being considered under the leadership of Minister Hosono. In terms of operating restrictions, in principle the period set for the operation of a nuclear reactor will be up to 40 years. However, as was explained yesterday, a system is currently being considered under which, in exceptional circumstances, it may be possible to approve for a limited period and as a one-off measure the extension of the operation of a reactor, providing that the extension does not exceed 20 years and that stringent safety standards are satisfied following the results of an investigation at a nuclear plant. This is something that will need to be inscribed in law and further deliberations will take place with a view to finalizing the content of the draft bill by the end of this month for approval by the Cabinet. Although there may have been some problems with the way in which this exceptional measure was explained and expressed in the meeting, there is basically no change to the 40-year period of operation, as has been previously stated by Minister Hosono.


REPORTER: Could you confirm the Government's thoughts on the possibility for the construction of nuclear power plants on new sites?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: As I have noted before, a conclusion concerning the issue of future nuclear policy, as well as energy policy in general, will be issued by the Energy and Environment Council by the summer of this year, which will include the matter of the construction of nuclear power plants on new sites. The policy is therefore currently in the process of consideration.


Page Top

Related Link