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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Friday, March 16, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I would like to give an overview of the Cabinet meeting. The meeting approved 24 general and other measures and also cabinet orders and personnel decisions. With regard to statements by ministers, the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications made a statement concerning the situation of local finances. The Minister of the Environment made a statement concerning the report of the Central Environment Council on the results of the fourth progress evaluation of the Fundamental Plan for Establishing a Sound Material-Cycle Society. The Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare made a statement concerning the situation of the spring wage offensive. And the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare, and the Minister of the Environment respectively made statements concerning personnel affairs relating to the heads of independent administrative agencies.

I have one other announcement regarding a personnel decision relating to the Supreme Court, which was approved by the Cabinet today. I believe a one-page reference material has been distributed to you. As Supreme Court Justice Yuki Furuta will be retiring, the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Mr. Yoshinobu Onuki as Mr. Furuta's successor as Supreme Court Justice. Mr. Onuki, the newly appointed Supreme Court Justice, has previously served as the Superintending Prosecutor of the Tokyo High Public Prosecutors Office and the Superintending Prosecutor of the Nagoya High Public Prosecutors Office. Drawing on his many years of experience as a prosecutor, Mr. Onuki is also a professor at the Faculty of Law, Asia University. He is an outstanding individual in both character and insight, and is believed to be an appropriate person as Supreme Court Justice.


REPORTER: I have a question concerning the request for the wide-area disposal of debris. Will the request be conveyed in writing by the end of today?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Let me explain this matter. In order to obtain cooperation from a broad area regarding the disposal of disaster waste, both the written request of Prime Minister Noda and the corresponding written request of Minister of the Environment Hosono are expected to be issued by the end of today.


REPORTER: Chinese vessels have entered a contiguous zone near the Senkaku Islands, and an Information Liaison Office has been established at the Prime Minister's Office. Can you verify the facts and also discuss what the views of the Japanese Government are?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: At around 6am on March 16, a Japan Coast Guard (JCG) patrol vessel confirmed the China Marine Surveillance Ship "Haijian 50" and "Haijian 66" navigating in the contiguous zone near Kuba Island of the Senkaku Islands. The JCG patrol vessel is issuing warnings by radio and other means at the site, and the JCG is conducting warning and surveillance activities. As of this moment, there are no reports indicating that the vessels have entered Japanese territorial waters. Regarding the details, such as the movements of the vessels, I ask that you direct your questions to the JCG. As for the Prime Minister's Office, an Information Liaison Office was immediately established at the Crisis Management Center to strengthen information gathering and it is currently responding to this matter.


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