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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Tuesday, September 3, 2013 (PM)

Press Conference by the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • Japan-U.S. telephone talks, particularly on the situation in Syria
  • The leakage of contaminated water from TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station


REPORTER: I have a question concerning the Japan-U.S. telephone talks. You explained that the reason for the timing of the talks was due to the fact that the Prime Minister and the President were not going to be able to physically meet in Saint Petersburg; however I understand that a Japan-Russia Summit meeting is scheduled during the G20 Summit meeting. With this in mind, I understand that President Obama explained the current situation and sought the understanding of the Prime Minister this morning. What are your thoughts on the timing of the talks?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY KATO: As I touched on earlier during the briefing, we had been making arrangements to schedule a Japan-U.S. Summit Meeting during the G20 meeting, however due to the timing at which President Obama is expected to arrive and the time at which Prime Minister Abe is scheduled to leave for Buenos Aires we were unable to arrange a meeting. As such we concluded that it would be difficult to set up an opportunity to discuss this issue (the situation in Syria) at length and therefore earlier today the leaders exchanged views on this issue during a 30 minute telephone conversation, which is a lengthy call for one of its type.

REPORTER: Today the Government announced its response concerning nuclear power, which includes addressing the issue of contaminated water. I understand that there will be an International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session on September 8 and that the Prime Minister will be leaving for Buenos Aires on September 4. Some believe that the announcement was made in a rushed manner with the IOC Session in mind. Could you share with us the view of the Government on how much the issue of contaminated water will affect the Olympic bid?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY KATO: Firstly, I must say that while the Tokyo Electric Power Company has already made a number of announcements, the public, particularly those from Fukushima Prefecture and the fishing community, have a number of great concerns and this is something that we must address irrespective of any IOC meetings. Today's announcement came about after the Government decided to stand at the forefront in addressing this issue and developed a policy package based on a range of discussions. I hope you understand that this has nothing to do with any IOC meetings. Having said that, this issue naturally holds great concern overseas as well as within Japan and therefore we will continue to appropriately communicate the facts regarding the situation and our intentions, both domestically and internationally.

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