Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  March 2012 >  Friday, March 9, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Friday, March 9, 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 ofthe Cabinet Meeting. Approval was made on 21 general matters and other issues, draft bills, cabinet orders, and personnel decisions. In terms of statements by ministers, Minister Kawabata made a statement concerning the implementation of a commemoration ceremony for the 40th anniversary of Okinawa's reversion to Japan, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs made a statement  on additional expansion of the scope of the asset freeze measures of members of the Syrian Government as well as on the release of Japan's Official Development Assistance (ODA) White Paper 2011.

During ministerial discussions after the Cabinet Meeting, Minister Furukawa made a statement about the comprehensive follow up on the New Growth Strategy.

A moment ago I mentioned the 40th anniversary of Okinawa's reversion to Japan. May 15 this year will mark the 40th anniversary since Okinawa reverted to Japan. At today's Cabinet Meeting, it was decided that the Government and Okinawa Prefecture will jointly hold a commemoration ceremony. I believe that materials on this have been distributed. For further details, please inquire with the Director General for Okinawa Affairs in the Cabinet Office. 

There is one more thing. Prior to the Cabinet Meeting today, a meeting of the Strategic Headquarters for the Promotion of an Advanced Information and Telecommunications Network Society (the IT Strategic Headquarters) was held. This was the 56th meeting of the Headquarters. Two matters were decided, the first being the establishment of an experts' meeting for the reform of government information systems, and the second being the establishment of a council to promote IT disaster prevention lifelines. For further details, please ask Minister Furukawa.



REPORTER: I have a question which I think is related to earthquake disasters. There is now concern among the populace about what would happen if there was a great earthquake with an epicenter beneath the Tokyo metropolitan area or if there was a series of earthquakes in the three areas of Tokai, Tonankai and Nankai. I think that the Government will be accelerating initiatives to prepare for this kind of thing in the future. Please tell us what sort of points you particularly want to hurry forward with in these countermeasures.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: You know that there was a meeting of the Council on Disaster Countermeasures Promotion yesterday right?


CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Right, a mid-term report was compiled at the meeting. We are proposing a comprehensive revision of disaster prevention countermeasures, with the aim of rebuilding Japan into a country that does not falter even if there is a large-scale disaster in the future. For details, I would appreciate it if you would look at the report released yesterday. In any case, it pointed out the urgency of the matter, which is to say that there is a scenario in which a metropolitan epicentral earthquake or a megathrust earthquake in the Nankai Trough might cause greater damage than that resulting from the Great East Japan Earthquake. So at the meeting of the Council this time, countermeasure working groups for each issue were created. And then, because the mid-term report was released yesterday, I would like to strongly ask you all to read this.


REPORTER: Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) will raise electricity rates for businesses and government offices from April, and for instance, yesterday Governor of Saitama Prefecture Kiyoshi Ueda expressed his opposition to the price hikes. Is the Government considering taking any action against TEPCO in the future?


REPORTER: Yes, that's correct.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I acknowledge that he made such remarks. But this, what he spoke about, that is fees, is a deregulated section outside of the regulations of the Electricity Business Act. It is TECPO's responsibility to earnestly negotiate with its clients. These matters should be agreed upon by both sides. The Government is of course requesting TEPCO to streamline management practices and thoroughly carry out its responsibility to explain matters related to this. And at the same time, I think TEPCO needs to diversify the fee menu based on the situation of and efforts taken by individual users, and thereby gain the understanding of each user. Some days ago Minister Edano told TEPCO President Nishizawa that the offering of a power saving menu that would help reduce the cost burden of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the results of new streamlining efforts should not just be applied for regulated fees but should also be retrospectively applied for deregulated fees as well.


Page Top

Related Link