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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


REPORTER: I have a question relating to the disposal of debris. This morning, on the instructions of the Prime Minister, a variety of new measures will begin concerning the wide-area disposal of debris, including notification in writing to local governments. However, already more than half a year has passed since the Special Measures Act for Disaster Waste Management was enacted and with the recent meeting of ministers concerned and other measures just being started, while on the one hand there are expectations for disposal, it seems that local governments have criticized the moves as being too late. What is the Government's response to such criticisms?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: As the Prime Minister has mentioned on a number of occasions, there are various areas where measures have been criticized as being too late or not reaching the areas for which they were intended, and the Government must take on such criticisms with the utmost seriousness. The issues surrounding debris disposal have gradually become clearer and last week Governor Kuroiwa and the heads of other municipalities in Kanagawa Prefecture spoke with the Prime Minister directly. This led to opinions that the Government should take a more proactive stance, which resulted in a decision to establish a ministerial meeting, headed by the Prime Minister, which is relatively unusual.


REPORTER: The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) has recently announced that the volume of radioactive materials dispersed from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) was approximately one-tenth of the amount of materials dispersed into the atmosphere by the Chernobyl nuclear accident, which was also classed as a Level 7 accident. What is the Government's view of these figures?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I believe that the recent figures announced by MEXT were the results of a survey to compare ground surface deposits of cesium 137. This survey found that the Chernobyl nuclear accident resulted in a greater impact on the environment due to the release of radioactive materials, which were approximately ten times greater than the materials released by the accident at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. This is how it was confirmed that the materials released at Fukushima were approximately one-tenth those of the Chernobyl accident. For further details please direct your inquiries to MEXT.


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