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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I will provide an overview of what happened at the Cabinet Meeting. Approval was made on 13 general matters and other issues, draft bills, and personnel decisions. In terms of comments by ministers, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry both made a statement concerning the expansion of the scope for the accompanying measures pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1929. The Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare and Minister Nakagawa both remarked on the drafts being prepared for legislation related to new health care and welfare for persons with disabilities toward the realization of regional societies where all people can coexist. I spoke about the status of debate on scheduled Cabinet bills and treaties in the 180th Session of the Diet.

During ministerial discussions after the Cabinet Meeting, the Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications and Deputy Prime Minister Okada spoke about curbing the recruitment of national public servants, and separately, Deputy Prime Minister Okada also talked about further progress regarding the dissemination of information related to the comprehensive reform of social security and taxation systems.

Prior to the Cabinet Meeting today was the first Ministerial Meeting on the Advancement of Disaster Waste Management. First, there were reports from the Minister of the Environment; Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry; Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; and the Senior Vice Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on the state of disaster waste management and initiatives toward the promotion of wide-area waste management and re-use. There was debate among relevant ministers and a consensus was reached on the direction to be taken with regard to efforts to proceed further with disaster waste management in the future based on these initiatives. At the end of the meeting, which was open to the press, Prime Minister Noda stated that in order for the Government to come together as a single entity on this issue, we would be: 1) Boldly reusing disaster waste, or in other words, utilizing waste in infrastructure to protect against future tsunamis, such as sea walls and plateaus; 2) Requesting the expansion of cooperation from private enterprises that possess incineration facilities for cement, paper, and other materials; 3) Sending out formal requests in the form of document to each prefecture related to the wide-area waste management, and establishing standards and so forth for the acceptance of the waste; and 4) Approaching by three political-level appointees in each Ministry and Agency, among other activities. Based on these instructions from the Prime Minister, the Government will continue to move forward with initiatives as a single entity, never halting on progress toward the recovery and reconstruction of the disaster-affected region.

Next, one more thing - Iran has continued and expanded its uranium enrichment activities despite the succession of U.N. Security Council Resolutions and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors Resolutions. In light of this, at today's Cabinet Meeting it was agreed that accompanying measures implemented as part of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1929 issued in 2010 would be additionally applied to one more Iranian bank. Japan will apply additional diplomatic pressure on Iran while cooperating with the international community and working toward a peaceful and diplomatic resolution to the Iranian nuclear issue. In addition, we are continuously and tenaciously calling upon Iran to move toward a resolution of this issue. Japan welcomed the move to reopen the EU3+3-Iran meeting, and strongly expects that we will see substantial progress toward a resolution of this issue.



REPORTER: On a separate topic, the U.S. newswire AP is reporting that the United States, Japan and the EU have brought a new trade case against China before the World Trade Organization (WTO) in relation to export restrictions placed on rare earth materials. Please tell us the fact of this matter.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: This has to do with the actions of Japan within the WTO moving forward. We are currently considering carefully how to act based on the content of the final report of the WTO Panel released some time ago regarding export restrictions placed on raw materials. At this moment in time, nothing has been decided.


REPORTER: My question concerns something in the news a while ago, which was that there was criticism in the Diet that Japan had treated Taiwan coldly during the Ceremony to Commemorate the First Anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. What is the Government's position on this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I heard afterwards that the matter you are referring to was something properly organized within the framework of the diplomatic corps after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Cabinet Office carried out coordination on the ceremony preparations. Aside from the ceremony, Minister for Foreign Affairs Gemba hosted a reception for each diplomatic mission and others to thank them for the variety of support received after the earthquake. And I have heard that the representative from Taiwan was invited to this. In any case, I heard after the ceremony that sufficient coordination was in fact made on the form of r the ceremony between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Cabinet Office.


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