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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday, May 7, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I welcome and express my heartfelt congratulations on the election of President-elect Francois Hollande of France. France is an important partner for Japan, which shares basic values such as democracy and the rule of law. Japan looks forward to working with the new administration to continue to strengthen Japan-France relations and to further promote cooperation on a range of challenges facing the international community.


  • Government's response to the gusts occurred in Ibaraki Prefecture and other areas on May 6 (deployment of a survey team)
  • The European debt problem (in relation to the election of new French President)

REPORTER: I have a question regarding the apparent tornadoes, the gusts, which hit Ibaraki Prefecture and other areas. What is the current status with regard to the Government's response, such as the dispatch of a survey team and the operations of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) in response to, for example, the Governor's request for disaster relief? If there is anything you are aware of, could you please share that with us?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The team left today. The Government's survey team to examine the damages from the gusts, etc. in Ibaraki Prefecture and other areas, which is headed by Senior Vice Minister of Cabinet Office Yoshinori Suematsu, left a moment ago at 10am. They will first see the extent of the damages in the areas first hand, and make a variety of examinations, including, of course, of the circumstances relating to the request for the dispatch of the SDF. I believe we will be receiving a report by this evening.

REPORTER: Regarding the Presidential election (discussed in the opening statement), today, the Nikkei Stock Average has dropped significantly and the yen has appreciated against the euro. Mr. Hollande, with regard to the European debt problem, argues against austerity measures. What is your analysis of the impact (of Mr. Hollande's election) on the European debt problem?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I believe it can be said that the European debt crisis is now in the process of easing from last year's critical situation. The situation, however, also certainly does not give rise to optimism. As European economic trends have major impacts also on the Japanese economy, we will pay full attention to how the discussions evolve regarding the policies of President-elect Hollande within Europe.


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