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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The Economic policy package
  • The Nuclear issues at the Japan-France Summit
  • The Issue of restarting operations of TEPCO Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Station


REPORTER: A short while ago, you met with Mr. Komura, Vice-President of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), and Mr. Oshima, Chairman of the LDP Headquarters for Accelerating Reconstruction after the Great East Japan Earthquake, at the party headquarters. I believe you three discussed economic measures. To the extent that you are able to, could you please tell us what kinds of matters were discussed?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In response to the instructions issued by the Prime Minister on September 10, we are working now to compile the economic policy package with the aim to complete by the end of this month under the leadership of Deputy Prime Minister Aso and Minister Amari. In doing this we have been coordinating with the ruling parties. Through obtaining various opinions and making adjustments, we are now working out the package to ensure that as a whole it is optimal in terms of ensuring both objectives that the economy exits deflation and achieves fiscal consolidation. Since yesterday, we, including Minister Amari as the lead person, have been explaining these matters to the ruling parties and making the final adjustments. In this context, I met with the two officials to get a sense of the outlook. In any case, we still have to determine which policy items will be incorporated into the package. However, I vouch that the 25 trillion yen budgetary framework for reconstruction will remain intact.


REPORTER: I have a question in connection with the Japan-France Summit Meeting which has taken place. The Japan-France Summit Meeting?


REPORTER: Really. Umm.


REPORTER: If I may ask the following question.


REPORTER: During the Japan-France Summit Meeting, the Prime Minister stated that he is pooling together knowhow from around the world to deal with the situation at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. France responded that it is ready to assist Japan at any time. In this sense, France is proactive about exporting nuclear power technology. Is my understanding correct that Japan is now at the stage of proactively making greater use of foreign technologies to deal with the situation at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station? Will Japan be sending out this kind of message on this occasion?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: To be honest, as the meeting has just ended, I have not heard about the details of the meeting. However, if the Prime Minister did make such statements regarding the handling of the nuclear power station issue, including the issue of contaminated water in Fukushima, then I believe Japan, with the cooperation of our partners around the world, will take responsible measures to ensure that the situation is under control. Both Japan and France have cooperated on technologies pertaining to the nuclear issue at various times in the past, and I believe it was in this context that the Prime Minister made his remarks.


REPORTER: Moving on to a different topic, with regard to the restarting of operations of Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Station, I understand that today, the President of TEPCO and Governor Izumida of Niigata Prefecture will discuss whether Niigata Prefecture will accept TEPCO's wish to apply to the Nuclear Regulation Authority for safety assessment toward resuming the nuclear power station. What is your view regarding this matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware that the meeting is taking place today. I believe that the responses of TEPCO and of Niigata Prefecture will be determined by the respective parties through various coordination. In any case, we are not aware as to whether an enabling environment has been created for going ahead with the application. I believe today's meeting is being held for the power company to be able to obtain the understanding of the local people, which I believe is indeed important.

REPORTER: When you say that it is important to obtain the understanding of the local people...

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In the past the local governor and the electric power company did not meet. In that respect, I believe it is very important that the two  parties are explaining to each other their respective positions.

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