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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Friday, May 18, 2012 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary's instruction on disaster-related debris staring to be washed ashore in the U.S.
  • Restarting of operations at nuclear power stations


REPORTER: In the liaison meeting among the Cabinet Office and Ministries held today, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Saito instructed all relevant ministries to consider specific measures to deal with the disaster-related debris that is now starting to be washed ashore in the United States. What is the schedule for coming to a conclusion on the specific measures to be implemented and what form do you envisage that the measures will take?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: With regard to the disposal of debris, domestically I hear that there are expected to be new announcements from the various regions next week. Considerations will be advanced based on these announcements in the domestic context. The amount of debris has been less than originally envisaged, and as it is likely that some degree of the debris has been washed away in the ocean, this is something that requires analysis. Nothing specific has been determined but consideration must be given to this issue, and I believe that was what Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Saito was referring to today.

REPORTER: I believe that this issue was brought up in the recent breakfast meeting the Prime Minister attended in the United States. Was any particular offer made by the United States?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: It was in this meeting that CEO of the United States Chamber of Commerce spoke with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Saito and offered the cooperation of the United States. This interaction was what Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Saito referred to today.

REPORTER: I have a question concerning the restarting of nuclear power stations. I believe there are still many leaders of local governments in the Kansai region who are still cautious about restarting the power stations, however, business leaders are calling strongly for the power stations to be restarted. What is the recognition of the Government with regard to this issue?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The chairpersons of the chambers of commerce in various prefectures have made a joint request to this effect and the Government has also received a number of other requests, which we recognize as representing certain local opinions. I understand that there are plans to engage in the provision of further detailed explanations where necessary, including to the Union of Kansai Governments.

REPORTER: Looking at the situation from the perspective of the business community, the power saving plan that has been decided today is a very severe one. What is the Government's view of this issue?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: We recognize that the plan is a severe one. The plan is the result of detailed considerations by experts, who have examined supply and demand outlooks to come up with the plan. The plan itself does not include any political elements, but rather takes the reality of the situation just as it is, which has resulted in the need to request what will be very severe power-saving measures, particularly for the service areas of Kansai, Kyushu and Shikoku power companies.

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