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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Restarting operations at nuclear power stations (Oi Nuclear Power Station)
  • The Senkaku Islands (relating to the comments by the Governor of Tokyo)

REPORTER: A similar question was asked in the morning press conference, about the seven-point proposal submitted today by the governors of Kyoto and Shiga prefectures concerning the restarting of operations at nuclear power stations. What is the Government's view of this proposal?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I believe that Kyoto and Shiga prefectures have jointly submitted a proposal concerning measures to gain public understanding on nuclear power generation policy, which has been delivered to the Prime Minister's Office and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. As the Government has already received requests from Kyoto and Shiga prefectures for explanations about the restarting of operations at the Unit 3 and 4 reactors of Oi Nuclear Power station, based on the proposal that has been submitted the Government will provide thorough explanations concerning its stance on the restarting of operations.


REPORTER: With regard to the schedule for restarting operations, the Government has described a schedule to date that would suggest the target for restarting operations is the summer. However, with opinion growing that the Government is not providing the full picture about restarting operations, could you tell us whether at the current point there are any plans to bring forward the schedule?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The Energy and Environment Council represents an amalgamation of various meetings and councils. As it is incumbent on this council to ensure that work and considerations are carried out properly and are not hurried through without due deliberation, there is currently no intention to bring the schedule forward.

REPORTER: This is an issue that also came up in the morning press conference, about the statement by the Governor of Tokyo concerning the intention to acquire ownership rights to the Senkaku Islands. Since this morning have you been in contact with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Governor or the current owner, in order to gather further information, or do you intend to contact them?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The Government is using various opportunities to contact the owner of the islands. The content of those discussions are of a private nature, and other than that there has been no other further information gathered between this morning's press conference and the current time.

REPORTER: On a related note, the Governor of Tokyo has issued a "governor's comment" this afternoon, in which it was stated that negotiations have been initiated. In response to this comment, the various local governments concerned have started to give their reactions, so does the Government intend to contact the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to confirm their intentions or exchange information?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: This is something that is still in the realm of press reports and no contact has yet been made. The Government is collecting information from that which is available and if necessary a request will also be made to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government to provide information.


REPORTER: To date the Government has not permitted landing on the Senkaku Islands, with the exception of Government organizations, so I would like to ask the reason why people have not been permitted to land on the islands. In addition, if the ownership rights to the islands were actually to change, this would raise the possibility that conditions for landing could also change. Could I ask for your view on this point?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I believe that the Minister for Foreign Affairs has also responded to a similar question today. I am not able to provide a response now about how this matter will be approached in the future. There is no doubt that the Senkaku Islands are clearly an inherent territory of Japan, in light of historical facts and based upon international law. Indeed, the Senkaku Islands are under the valid control of Japan. I believe that is all there is to say.


REPORTER: In response to the statement by Tokyo Governor Ishihara, Minister Hirano stated in a press conference following the Cabinet meeting that there had been a similar concept at the time when he was Chief Cabinet Secretary. In this morning's press conference you stated in response to a question about the necessity of bringing the islands under State ownership that the Government is using various opportunities to contact the owner of the islands. Did you make this statement taking into account the concept as noted by Minister Hirano?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Given the fact that the Government is currently renting the islands from the owner, if necessary there is a good likelihood that such a concept would be advanced.



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