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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday, April 16, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Terrorist attacks in Afghanistan
  • Disposal of debris from disaster-affected regions
  • Missile launch by North Korea (establishment of an verification team into the Government's crisis management response)


REPORTER: There have been anti-government insurgent attacks in Afghanistan and the Japanese Embassy in Kabul has also been damaged. Could you tell us about the current situation, including about the safety of Japanese nationals in Afghanistan, and the response that the Japanese Government will be making to the attacks?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The Government is aware that on April 15 a series of simultaneous acts of terrorism began in various locations around Afghanistan. Since yesterday these simultaneous terrorist acts have been perpetrated in various locations around Afghanistan and in the city of Kabul. Japan is greatly shocked and indignant at these terrorist acts. The Government of Japan expresses its firm condemnation of these atrocious acts of terrorism and condemns terrorism in any forms and manifestations and reiterates that there can be no justification, whatsoever, for any acts of terrorism. The Government of Japan hopes that Afghanistan will continue to make every effort to work for the stabilization of the country. In addition to providing maximum consideration for security measures to those concerned, the Government of Japan will continue to cooperate with Afghanistan in its various efforts. As of last night, it had been confirmed that there have been four explosions within the grounds of the Japanese Embassy, with damage to walls and windows also being confirmed. (note: Later, it was confirmed that in fact there had been three explosions, instead of four.) As of last night, all Japanese citizens within Afghanistan have been confirmed as safe. The latest information suggests, however, that there have been further rocket attacks in Kabul and the Government is once again confirming the safety and whereabouts of Japanese citizens.

REPORTER: Last weekend Mr. Motegi, Chair of the Policy Research Council of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) issued a request to you concerning the schedule for the disposal of debris from the disaster-affected regions, to which you responded that the Government would "also consider legal measures." What did you mean by "legal measures" and what are the facts of the matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I think that there has been a slight misunderstanding, so to clarify, I would point out that the proposals from the LDP do not contain any reference to legislation or legal measures. The requests submitted by the LDP refer to various items, including a schedule for disposal according to blocs, the announcement of the schedule, the compilation of disposal standards by the Government for the purpose of wide-area disposal, and Government responsibility for a response to extra costs incurred by local governments. Given that the requests submitted are of great value, I have shared their content with Cabinet ministers concerned, and I believe the reference to legal measures could have arisen at this point. In the Special Measures Act for Disaster Waste Management that was passed in August last year, the disposal of debris is stipulated as being the responsibility of the Government, which will involve the disposal of disaster-related waste and also the formulation of a schedule that clearly sets out the timetable for implementation. In fact, the schedule has been already set out, however this has not been widely circulated. Therefore, I stated that based on the Special Measures Act of last year I would seek to announce once again the schedule for disposal of debris.

REPORTER: You have stated that you will announce the schedule once again, so is this to publicize the contents of the schedule more widely?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Yes. The requests submitted by the LDP last week will be incorporated into the schedule and therefore it will be partially revised and announced once again, based on the provisions of the Special Measures Act for Disaster Waste Management.


REPORTER: In a previous press conference you stated that investigation would be necessary concerning the transmission of information in response to the missile launch by North Korea. What form will this verification take and have any instructions been issued for the verification to begin?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: A verification team will be established today under the title of "investigation into the Government's crisis management response relating to the launch of the missile by North Korea." The team will be headed by the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, with the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary for Crisis Management serving as deputy head and also including the relevant bureau chiefs of ministries concerned. The team will be expected to engage swiftly in verification.


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