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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, June 14, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Oi Nuclear Power Station (Oi Town Mayor's consent to resume operations)
  • Consideration on conducting a Japan-U.S.-ROK joint military exercise
  • Agreement on a new nuclear regulatory organization among DPJ and two opposition parties

REPORTER: Regarding the restarting of Oi Nuclear Power Station, this morning, the Mayor of Oi Town announced his consent to resume operations. What are the thoughts of the Government?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I understand that at the Oi Town Assembly a moment ago, the Mayor stated his approval on the restart. I would like to express my sincere respect to the Mayor for making a judgment in the face of a variety of criticisms. Going forward, I understand that Governor Issei Nishikawa of Fukui Prefecture will make a judgment based on the opinions of Fukui Prefecture, the prefectural assembly, and Oi Town. I believe the next step with regard to Fukui Prefecture is announcing the upcoming schedule. As the prefecture is now carrying out the procedures sequentially, the Government will not make any comments on the schedule at this moment in time. The Government will make a final judgment after discussions are held at the four ministers' meeting once we have the understanding of Fukui Prefecture and Oi Town. The schedule for this is not yet decided.


REPORTER: Earlier, the Department of Defense of the United States (U.S.) announced that the Japan-U.S.-ROK joint military exercise will be conducted in the coast off of the Korean Peninsula on June 21. Can you confirm the facts?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I understand that this was announced by the U.S. and has been reported in the media. The Japan-U.S.-ROK drill is being considered currently. However, no decision has yet been made on whether to conduct it and when this will take place. Japan-U.S.-ROK defense authorities have exchanged views on a variety of levels in the past, and we believe it is important to continue to strengthen the partnership and cooperation among the three countries. We would like to continue to strive to strengthen the relations. The Ministry of Defense (MOD) is currently considering this, and I believe it is better that you direct your questions on the details to MOD.


REPORTER: A moment ago, the three parties of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP), and the New Komeito party reached a final agreement on the organization of the new nuclear regulatory system. I would like to ask for your assessment of this. In particular, how do you assess such aspects as the Prime Minister's right to issue instructions is now limited?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: First, I understand that the three parties reached an agreement this morning. I am very pleased that members of the parties advanced coordinations and reached an agreement. I expect that the bill based on this agreement will be deliberated at the Diet and passed at an early date. As this is the outcome of the coordination among the three parties or the outcome of inter-party consultations, the Government will accept the outcome of the Diet deliberations to follow, and accordingly, take all possible measures to allow for the introduction of a fully-functional organization and system. And regarding your next question, it is also true that revisions were made to the section on the instructions to be issued by the Chair of the Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters, that is, the Prime Minister, during emergencies. However, I believe one of the major highlights of the organization to begin with is also that it is an Article 3 committee (a committee which is established pursuant to Article 3 of the National Government Organization Act) with a high degree of independence and expertise. As this is the outcome of truly intensive consultations conducted between the ruling and opposition parties, naturally the Government is in a position to accept the outcome of the deliberations that will be held at the Diet.


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