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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Monetary policy by the Bank of Japan
  • North Korea (Government's response to the launch of a missile by North Korea)
  • Power supply and demand issues


REPORTER: The meeting today of the Monetary Policy Board of the Bank of Japan (BOJ) decided to postpone further monetary easing. Following the decision, the response of the markets was that share prices, which had been up during the morning session, continued their downward slide and ended down on the day, marking a downturn for the third consecutive day. The appreciation of the yen has also continued, with the yen strengthening to a level below 81.30 yen to the dollar. What is the view of the Government concerning the recent decision by the BOJ?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: First of all, when we look back to the Monetary Policy Meeting on February 14, it was decided to introduce a "price stability goal in the medium to long term," and, among other things, to increase the total size of the Asset Purchase Program by about 10 trillion yen, to about 65 trillion yen. The decisions made at the meeting held on March 13 included the extension and enhancement of fund-provisioning measures to support strengthening the foundations for economic growth. With regard to the BOJ's decision last month on dollar funds-supplying operations, a more detailed decision has been reached today, and the Government highly evaluates the steady progress being made by the BOJ in this regard. I understand that the decisions made today by the BOJ are based on analysis of economic activity, prices and market trends. Whatever the case, the Government expects that in efforts to overcome deflation in the near term, the BOJ will continue to work closely with the Government in exchanging information and will continue to support the economy through appropriate and flexible monetary policy and management.

REPORTER: I asked a similar question yesterday, regarding the Government's response to the launch of the missile by North Korea. The Government's view and response to the missile launch was not made clear yesterday, so has anything further been decided today?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Yes, I believe a response structure has now been more or less put in place. Although I will not go into all the details, in the event that a missile is launched, the Government considers that it will be necessary to convene a meeting of the Security Council of Japan. However, as it is not yet possible to precisely predict the situation, a response will be made according to the situation as it arises. With regard to the utilization of the J-ALERT and Em-Net (Emergency Information Network) systems, a further test has been implemented today, and the Government is committed to providing appropriate information to the public about the situation as it develops, including through the press conferences. As I mentioned in my press conference this morning, the Government, including Cabinet ministers, seeks to make a response with a suitable degree of urgency, after having ensured that the necessary structures are in place.

REPORTER: You have just mentioned the provision of information by the Government. In the event that the missile is launched, do you envisage that this will include a press conference by the Prime Minister, or impromptu interview with the Prime Minister, or a press conference by or impromptu interview with yourself?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Looking at past examples, it has been the case that the Chief Cabinet Secretary has convened press conferences at a suitable time and therefore a similar response is being considered at this time.

REPORTER: Today have any specific meetings been held at the Cabinet Secretariat, or structures set in place, instructions given or information exchanged?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: These sorts of things are being implemented on a daily basis. Today a joint liaison meeting was held.

REPORTER: On a related note, are we to understand that you will convene press conferences as necessary following the launch of a missile?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: That understanding is correct. As you stated, press conferences will be convened "as necessary."


REPORTER: In your press conference this morning you used the term "planned power saving." To date, with regard to power supply and demand issues a variety of measures have been implemented such as planned power outages, electricity usage restriction orders and independent requests by power utility companies to customers to conserve power. Could you tell us what image you have in mind when you refer to "planned power saving"?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I referred to power saving in a planned and systematic manner. Last year and to date this has included power companies concluding supply and demand coordination contracts with commercial scale utility customers who consume in excess of 500kW of electricity. In this way menus are being compiled as a means of promoting a shift in peak power usage times, particularly for commercial scale utility customers who consume in excess of 500kW of electricity. A concrete example of such a contract is the user agreeing to halt facilities at a given time on a regular basis more than a week, thereby reducing electricity consumption, in return for reductions in electricity tariffs. My reference the previous day to "planned power saving" therefore pointed to the new creation of such plans to create various menus for users, with new contracts being drawn up with users to coordinate reductions in power usage.

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