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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, March 29, 2012 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The Prime Minister is scheduled to attend the "Peace of Mind for Tomorrow Dialogue" to be held in Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture on the afternoon of Saturday, April 7. An exchange of opinions with the general participants about the significance and necessity of the comprehensive reform of social security and taxation systems is planned. We also plan to post information on how to apply to participate in the meeting from this evening on the government-operated website of the "Peace of Mind for Tomorrow Dialogue."



REPORTER: Related to the restarting of the Oi Nuclear Power Station, after receiving an explanation about stress tests from the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) today, the governors of Shiga and Kyoto Prefectures both expressed the opinion that they were opposed to the restarting of operations. I would like to know how the Government takes their opinion.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The explanation this time was made at the request of the governments of Kyoto and Shiga Prefectures. Explanations of the facts to date were made at an official level by a Deputy Director-General in NISA by visiting the two prefectures. The four ministers concerned will be considering the matter in light of the opinions of both prefectural governments this time, while verifying the guarantee of safety needed for the restart of operations, and continuing to explain to municipal governments with concerns about the safety of nuclear power stations.


REPORTER: Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) some time ago announced a request to the national government asking for the injection of 1 trillion yen in capital from public funds. I would like to know how the Government will respond to this moving forward.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The 1 trillion yen is in stock or as capital right? And then there is also a request for funding for paying compensations, which I have heard has been put forward as well. TEPCO is still in the process of paying compensations. I have heard that the request was formulated between TEPCO and the Nuclear Damage Compensation Facilitation Corporation in the midst of discussions on the Comprehensive Special Business Plan. The Government will make a judgment in light of this on the matter moving forward.


REPORTER: This was asked this morning too, but since then Minister of Justice Toshio Ogawa has made another announcement about the death penalty, so I would like to ask once again for the Government's stance on the death penalty system.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I will speak about this more clearly this afternoon. Today, three people were executed. Executions are carried out upon the order of the Minister of Justice. The Minister makes a decision on this as appropriate according to the law. In terms of the death penalty system itself, there are many opinions on this among the people, including those on the continuation or abolishment of the system, but Minister Ogawa also mentioned numbers showing 85% support for the system in this press conference today. I believe that the Minister of Justice thought sufficiently about this. Considering that there seems to be no end to atrocious crimes, it would be ok for you to understand the decision by Minister of Justice Ogata this time as the judgment of the Government.

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