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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Friday, April 13, 2012 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Missile launch by North Korea (response by the Japanese Government)
  • Restarting operations at nuclear power stations (Oi Nuclear Power Station)

REPORTER: At the earlier briefing on the Security Council meeting, you said that the Crisis Management Center at the Prime Minister's Office received the Satellite Early Warning (SEW) information from the Ministry of Defense at 8:16am. You received contact from the Ministry of Defense at 7:42am.


CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The Ministry of Defense provided overall information, including SEW information, to the Prime Minister's Response Office at 8:16am. I understand that the Ministry of Defense had information that an object of some kind had flown into the air. However, as it was not confirmed from radar information that the object was flying toward Japan, the Ministry of Defense conducted further confirmation. I obtained SEW information at 7:42am through a different route, from a variety of information sources. During that time, senior officials from the Defense Ministry were also present at the Response Office. I, too, was in the Office. So the senior officials were at the Response Office at the Prime Minister's Office, and through them as well, I was informed that there was no radar information which showed any object flying toward Japan and that the situation was not such that the safety of Japan was being threatened.


REPORTER: Even if it was not shared formally, if SEW information had been shared with you and the Crisis Management Center, the first notice via Em-Net would not have stated that the Japanese Government had not confirmed (the launch of the missile). Is that not correct?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Those were the facts at the time of the first notice. In other words, it could have been a missile burn test, or as in the past, a launch of a short-range missile. A variety of possibilities can be imagined. Therefore, I believe it cannot be determined from SEW information alone that a missile had been launched.


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question related to the restarting of operations at nuclear power stations. Today, following this press conference, there will again be a meeting among the four ministers. Is my understanding correct that today, the ministers will be confirming the start of the phase of seeking the understanding of the local communities (for restarting operations at Oi Nuclear Power Station)? Also, the meeting among the four ministers on the restarting of operations has been convened successively. I get the impression that this is all being done in a great hurry. What is the reason for this?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: We have been dealing this with the intention of taking a very careful and cautious approach. There has been a buildup of efforts since July of last year. Today, while being aware that there are still a variety of opinions out there and while fully accepting these opinions, a comprehensive discussion will take place at the meeting among the four ministers on safety or necessity, without identifying a cut-off date for reaching a conclusion. This is what will be happening today.

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