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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato

  • Prime Minister's plan to visit Iwate Prefecture

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY KATO: Firstly, I would like to speak on Prime Minister Abe's visit to Iwate Prefecture.

On Saturday, April 6, the Prime Minister is planning to visit earthquake-affected areas in Iwate Prefecture to inspect the current state of reconstruction.

More specifically, the Prime Minister will first inspect Taro District in Miyako City, which suffered devastating tsunami damage, from the coastal levee. The Prime Minister will then visit the fish market, which is the foundation of the fishing industry in Taro District, to inspect the processing facility for wakame-seaweed, which is now in season.

Following that, the Prime Minister will visit a company in Yamada Town, which was established by a ship building company based in Onomichi City of Hiroshima Prefecture to support the reconstruction of the town. The Prime Minister will observe the state of recovery of industry in the area before hearing the thoughts of earthquake affected locals at the community center. That is all I have to share with you today.

The Chief Cabinet Secretary is in Okinawa at the moment so that is why I (Katsunobu Kato) am taking his place this afternoon.


  • Relocation of the Futenma Air Station
  • Prime Minister's visit to Iwo Island

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question regarding the meeting with the Governor of Okinawa in Okinawa. I understand that the Governor once again demanded the relocation of the Futenma Air Station to a location outside of Okinawa Prefecture. Could you share your views on this with us?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY KATO: I know that the Chief Cabinet Secretary mentioned this to some journalists, in fact some of you, in Okinawa. However, the Government will address this issue by adhering to the agreements between Japan and the U.S. and steadily attempting to reduce the burden placed on Okinawans.

Therefore, we will strive to resolve each problem one by one, including the return of facilities south of Kadena, while seeking the understanding of local residents.

REPORTER: It has been reported that the Abe Administration is discussing plans to post Diet members to Okinawa. Could you tell us if this is the case, and if so, could you share with us the objectives of this move?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY KATO: I have not been informed of Governmental discussions on such matters.

REPORTER: I believe that the president of the Parliamentary League for Iwo Jima of Japan, Mr. Aisawa, visited the Prime Minister's Office earlier today. I understand that the Prime Minister will visit Iwo Jima in the not too distant future. Could you tell us, as far as it has been finalized, when this will happen and what he will do on the island?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY KATO: I believe that the schedule is in the process of being arranged and I have been informed that arrangements as to what exactly he will do are also currently being organized.


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