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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, April 4, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I would like to speak about the round-robin Cabinet meeting. I would like to make a statement regarding personnel affairs relating to senior vice ministers and a parliamentary secretary. The other day, Senior Vice Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Toru Kikawada, Senior Vice Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Yuko Mori, Senior Vice Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Yoshio Maki, and Parliamentary Secretary of Internal Affairs and Communications Ryo Shuhama submitted their letters of resignation. Their situations were confirmed with them, and due to their firm intention to resign it was decided that they will be relieved from their posts effective today. This was decided at this morning's round-robin Cabinet meeting.


  • Restarting of operations at nuclear power stations
  • Consideration on establishing no-return areas in Fukushima


REPORTER: Concerning the restarting of operations at nuclear power stations, at yesterday's four ministers' meeting, was a decision made about the municipalities which will be requested to give consent?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: This has not been decided.

REPORTER: I understand that the general schedule was confirmed in regards to holding possibly one more meeting before the end of the week. Was the overall schedule discussed, was it raised at yesterday's meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: We agreed to discuss matters, including the future schedule, at the next meeting. No overall schedule was decided as of yesterday.

REPORTER: Related to this, Minister Tatsuo Hirano mentioned about new safety standards. Regarding their contents...

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: It was Mr. Yukio Edano, not Mr. Hirano. In part, with the explanations received yesterday being slightly difficult to understand, the Prime Minister instructed Minister Edano that the criteria for determining (the restarting of operations) are reorganized and presented once again. Then Minister Edano issued instructions to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) and other agencies.

REPORTER: The criteria will be prepared based on the 30 safety standards that NISA has already compiled?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Those will serve as the basis. However, I believe it cannot be said with certainty that those standards are necessarily easy to understand. Therefore, it was requested that the standards are a little more organized, and for explaining about each of them in the future, that more creative efforts are made to describe them so that everyone will be able to understand them.

REPORTER: I have a related question. About how much time will be spent on this work?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The request was to get this done in one or two days, very speedily.


REPORTER: According to some reports, yesterday, Minister for Reconstruction Hirano stated that no-return areas will be established near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). Can you verify the facts and discuss the current policy of the Government?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: This was already stated by Minister for Reconstruction Hirano at the recent meeting of the Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters. Minister Hirano stated at the meetingthat measures should be considered, such as restricting residents from living in some areas near the premises of TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station for an extended period of time, based on a different viewpoint from classifying areas according to high or low levels of radiation, as well as securing a certain amount of space within these areas. I believe when Minister Hirano met with Fukushima Prefecture Governor Yuhei Sato and the leaders of the eight towns and villages in Futaba yesterday, this is the discussion that Minister Hirano was describing.


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