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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, March 22, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: On Wednesday, March 21, an agreement in principle was reached at the 13th round of negotiations for the Japan-China-ROK Investment Agreement, which was convened to discuss the remaining issues. The three countries have agreed to further advance procedures, with the aim of signing the Japan-China-ROK Investment Agreement at an early date. The Japan-China-ROK Investment Agreement creates the first legal framework for trilateral cooperation in the economic area. The Agreement has meaning not only economically but also politically in the sense of strengthening the relations among the three countries. In particular, with respect to ties with China, the Agreement has established provisions for intellectual property rights and fair and equitable treatment, from the perspective of further increasing the level of protection offered by the existing Japan-China Investment Agreement. In addition, I believe provisions will be established for dispute settlement between investors and parties to the Agreement, Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) procedures, freedom of money transfer, and prohibitions against certain technology transfer requirements. That is it from my side. I believe this information will also be released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the form of a press release.



REPORTER: Regarding a different matter, I have a question on the launch of the Nuclear Regulatory Agency. With no date in sight for the start of the deliberations, Diet Affairs Committee Chair Koriki Jojima also stated yesterday that the April 1 launch will be difficult to achieve. What are your thoughts on this? Also, with the existing system remaining as a result, how do you intend to obtain the communities' understanding to make a decision on the restarting of operations at nuclear power stations?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: First, with regard to the bill, this has been submitted by the Government, and from there coordinations are being made within the Diet. The Government's position is that it would like the bill to be deliberated and passed as quickly as possible. And the other issue is-I believe your question was probably referring also to the implications on the Nuclear Safety Commission (NSC). Since NSC is to operate until the launch of the Nuclear Regulatory Agency, to ensure that no problems arise in the meantime, including a blank period (in nuclear regulation), the Government intends to take appropriate responses based on the status of the deliberations on the bill.


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