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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The Nuclear Regulation Authority's new regulations for nuclear power stations
  • Government's goal to achieve the best energy mix within 10 years


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question regarding the Government's nuclear policy. At today's Nuclear Regulation Authority meeting it was decided that the new nuclear regulations will take effect from July 8. I believe that the assessment of power company applications will commence after the new regulations come into effect, but many local municipalities with power stations have expressed their desire for a decision to be made as soon as possible. Does the Government have any intention of taking measures to accelerate the decision-making process concerning the restarting of nuclear power stations under the new regulations, such as by increasing personnel numbers at the Nuclear Regulation Authority?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, I would like you to understand that today the Nuclear Regulation Authority finalized the new regulations for nuclear power stations. The new regulations reflect the lessons learned from the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and meet the world's most stringent safety standards. As I have said numerous times, the Government's basic nuclear policy is that safety is our highest priority. The Government will swiftly grant Cabinet approval to the new regulations finalized today so that we can put them into effect as soon as possible. In light of this, we believe that it is important that the Nuclear Regulation Authority thoroughly assesses the applications of the power companies under the new regulations.

REPORTER: The Government has announced their goal to achieve the best mix for energy sources within 10 years. However, industry is pushing for the decision to be made earlier as it is difficult to determine the outlook for electricity. Does the Government have any intention of revising the three year period for increasing the use of renewable energy, or revising the overall 10 year target?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As for the best mix of energy sources, the Government will provide as much information as possible concerning the energy supply and demand outlook. We will first work on determining the energy supply and demand outlook. Following that, I believe it is important that we engage in thorough discussions concerning the mid to long-term energy mix of Japan rather than addressing the issue from a short-term perspective. With this understanding, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)'s election pledge established a 10 year goal. The party determined this 10 year goal with an understanding that thorough discussions are crucial, and we as the government are also resolved to address this with more than just a short term perspective and will engage in thorough discussions while doing everything we can within the period. This is our basic approach.


REPORTER: Concerning the restarting of nuclear power stations (abridged), if you have any further concrete plans as to when and/or how the Government is planning to proceed, could you please share them with us? Also, how will you alleviate the concerns of local residents in the communities in which nuclear power stations are located?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: At any rate, the Government stance is to give highest priority to safety and the assessment of applications will be completed in accordance with the new safety standards. Therefore, if power stations are deemed safe following the assessment, the Government will work as one and provide explanations to local municipalities and other relevant parties to gain their understanding.

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