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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, September 6, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Japan-North Korea relations
  • Japan's international nuclear cooperation
  • Japan's future energy policy

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question in relation to the Japan-North Korea consultation. The Press Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of North Korea has stated that it is "contrary to facts" that the two countries agreed to include abduction in the agenda of the official consultation. Can you please explain how the Japanese Government intends to deal with this matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: My response to this is as I stated at the time of the conclusion of the preliminary consultation. That is that at the preliminary consultation, the two sides agreed to start making coordination to hold wide-ranging consultations, with issues of mutual interest on the agenda. On our part, we recognize that the issue of the remains of Japanese people is an important humanitarian issue that has remained unresolved since the end of the war, and we have no intention of utilizing this issue for political purposes. Ultimately, the agenda will be finalized based on the coordination which is made as I mentioned a moment ago. With regard to the abduction issue, we will deal with this issue firmly and resolutely based on our long-held view. We naturally intend to discuss the abduction issue, and to this end, we are now starting to make coordination with North Korea.


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question in regard to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and nuclear power. Although Japan domestically is moving toward reducing dependency on nuclear power, in terms of overseas, Minister Edano stated in his press conference on September 4 that "it would be irresponsible for Japan not to cooperate." As his statement reflects, is my understanding correct that Japan will actively export nuclear equipment and technology internationally?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: With regard to international nuclear cooperation, including nuclear export, we believe it is important that Japan shares with the world our experience and lessons learned from last year's nuclear power accident. We believe it is Japan's role to contribute to the improvement of nuclear safety worldwide by making such efforts. On this basis, in principle, we believe there is meaning or significance in providing equipment and technologies with a high level of safety to partner countries and engaging in nuclear cooperation, if requested by countries, while keeping an eye on their situation and ensuring nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful use of nuclear power. From this standpoint, Japan will continue to promote nuclear cooperation with various countries, while bearing in mind the layers of past diplomatic negotiations and ensuring that the cooperation does not erode the bilateral trust that has been cultivated. I believe Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Edano made his comment in light of this basic understanding.

REPORTER: Concerning the new energy strategy, (abridged) what is your outlook regarding the timing of the compilation of the final strategy?


CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: We initially stated that the strategy would be compiled "by the end of August," and it is now the beginning of September. However, we have no intention of dragging this process on and on. Therefore, we are now working tirelessly to compile the Government's views as quickly as possible.


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