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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, January 31, 2013 (AM)

Press Conference by the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The Self-Defense Forces Act
  • Nuclear energy policy
  • The air pollution in China

REPORTER: There are press reports that the Prime Minister has given instructions to the Secretary-General of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to make arrangements to submit a bill to revise the Self-Defense Forces Act during the current session of the Diet. What are the facts behind these reports?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY KATO: At the current stage the Government is engaged in verifications concerning the series of events that occurred during the Algeria hostage incident. Having first investigated and examined the recent incident we will then engage in discussions on what issues need to be tackled and what kind of a response needs to be made.


REPORTER: On a related note, I believe that revision of the Self-Defense Forces Act is something that is on the Government's agenda, but could you tell us whether you consider that it is a revision that should be implemented through a draft bill submitted by the Cabinet?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY KATO: Whatever the case, such a revision would require discussion on what sort of content should be included. Therefore, after such discussions are concluded a decision would be made.

REPORTER: The Nuclear Regulation Authority is expected to issue the outline for new standards relating to nuclear power by today and it is expected that new standards will be formally decided and approved by around July. Does the Government consider that in order to respond to demand issues in the summer months the nuclear power stations should be restarted (by the beginning of the summer)? (Abridged) Also, could you tell us about the Government's plans to deal with demand issues this summer, particularly in view of the weakening yen and rising fossil fuel prices?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY KATO: The current situation with regard to the Government's basic policy is that as we move towards the peak demand period of the summer months, the Government will move to deal with the situation and ensure that the people of Japan do not have to worry about power supply affecting their daily lives and that there is no obstruction to economic activities.


REPORTER: Some people have raised concerns about the air pollution situation in China and the effect it could have on Japanese nationals living in China and a possible impact in Japan itself. What measures is the Government considering, including future measures?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY KATO: The current situation is that air pollution caused by high concentrations of respirable particulate matter known as PM2.5 is continuing in China. I have heard that since January 14, the Government has started providing warnings and alerts through local embassies and consulates, advising Japanese nationals living in the area to avoid unnecessary and non-urgent journeys outdoors. With regard to the impact in Japan itself, at the current time the levels of pollution will not have an immediate impact on the domestic situation and the Ministry of the Environment will continue to monitor levels of particulate pollution and respond accordingly.


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