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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Friday, September 21, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura

  • An overview of the Cabinet meeting
  • The Prime Minister's attendance to the UN General Assembly

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I will start by giving an overview of the Cabinet meeting. The meeting approved one general measure, as well as the promulgation of cabinet orders and personnel decisions. With regard to statements by ministers, Minister Nakagawa made a statement concerning the implementation of Autumn 2012 National Traffic Safety Campaign and the "Zero Traffic Accident Fatality Day." Minister Matsubara also made a statement concerning the Autumn 2012 National Traffic Safety Campaign.

In ministerial discussions following the Cabinet meeting, Minister Nakagawa made a statement concerning opinions provided by the working group on the elimination of discrimination relating to the Disability Discrimination Act.

I have one more item to report. From September 24 to 27, Prime Minister Noda will visit New York, to attend the United Nations General Assembly. During his visit to New York, the Prime Minister is scheduled to give an address in the general debate session of the General Assembly. In addition, the Prime Minister will be hosting a reception on the theme of human security, which is a concept that Japan has made efforts to disseminate and promote in the international community. Various bilateral summit meetings are also being arranged, including with Australia, Colombia, Mongolia and Egypt. The Prime Minister is attending the United Nations General Assembly for the purpose of presenting Japan's vision and position with regard to various global challenges being faced by the international community, and also in order to deepen personal relations of trust with the leaders of other countries.


  • The deployment of the Osprey aircraft
  • Japan's energy policy
  • Japan-China relations


REPORTER: The test flights for the Osprey transport aircraft have commenced. What is the Government's reaction to this commencement and how does it intend to respond to the local opposition to the aircraft?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: With regard to the MV-22 Osprey transport aircraft, following the Government's announcement on September 19 that the safety of the aircraft had been confirmed, U.S. forces commenced test flights at Iwakuni Air Base in order to confirm the functionality of the aircraft. The United States has previously indicated that once the safety of the aircraft had been confirmed by the Government of Japan, it would conduct test flights at Iwakuni Air Base in order to confirm aircraft functionality and allow pilots to train and acquaint themselves with the equipment. The United States will continue to implement test flights at Iwakuni for these purposes, following which the aircraft will be transferred to Okinawa. However, the timing of the transfer to Okinawa has yet to be confirmed, as this is something that is dependent on operational details. The Government recognizes that the actions taken to date are in line with the planned sequence of operations.

REPORTER: Yesterday, in a meeting with local leaders in Aomori Prefecture, Minister Edano stated that the zero nuclear power station policy is a target. I would like to confirm whether it is indeed a "target," and if so, is it a target that must absolutely be achieved or a target towards which efforts will be made?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The basic policy decided by the Government that is clear and unmistakable is that the Government will mobilize all policy resources to such a level as to even enable zero operation of nuclear power plants in the 2030s.  Recently the Cabinet approved Government policy towards this end, including the main overall policy and the processes that will be involved, and all efforts will be made to realize the policy. In other words, a decision was made on the basis of Innovative Strategy for Energy and the Environment and all efforts will be made to promote this strategy.

REPORTER: Returning to the matter of the Osprey transport aircraft, what measures does the Government intend to implement from now in order to respond to local opposition to the deployment of the aircraft?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The measures that will be taken are the same that I have mentioned previously. Efforts will be made to address opposition and concerns by providing clear and thorough explanations regarding the significance of the deployment of the aircraft, their safety, and the results of discussions in the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee.


REPORTER: There have been some press reports that the Chinese Government has been strengthening customs inspections for Japanese products. What is the Government's current awareness regarding this matter and what impact do you think it will have on the Japanese economy?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: It is indeed the case that this matter has been reported in the press, however, the relevant authorities are currently collecting information and confirming the actual situation with regard to customs procedures. Information is being collected by overseas diplomatic missions and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), among other bodies. The Government will make an appropriate response depending on the outcome of this collection of information, but at the moment information is still being collected.


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