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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday, July 14, 2014 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga

I have one item to report, concerning the schedule of the Prime Minister. On July 16, the Prime Minister is scheduled to visit disaster-affected areas in Miyagi Prefecture, where he will inspect the status of reconstruction, among other matters. Specifically, the Prime Minister is scheduled to visit Shichigahama Town and Higashi-Matsushima City, where he will inspect the status of progress in the reconstruction of the fisheries and agriculture industries, as well as measures towards the creation of a sixth-sector industry. In addition, the Prime Minister will visit public housing for disaster victims in Higashi-Matsushima City, which was the first of its kind to be established by a residents’ association. He will observe the local community-building efforts there.


  • The fire of rockets and artillery shells by “North Korea”
  • The containing traces of cesium exceeding the reference value from the rice harvest in Fukushima


REPORTER: It appears that around noon today, North Korea fired more than 100 rockets and artillery shells. Could you tell us the facts behind such reports, and the response of the Government of Japan?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am aware of the press reports that you are referring to. The Government views North Korea's actions with grave concern, and is constantly gathering and analyzing information. I would like to refrain from discussing anything specific regarding this matter, as doing so it may expose our intelligence-gathering capacity and other information. Whatever the case, no missile overflight of Japan has been confirmed, and at the current juncture, no situation has been confirmed that would directly impact Japan’s security.


REPORTER: Rice harvested last autumn in Minamisoma City in Fukushima Prefecture has been found to contain traces of cesium exceeding the reference value. While recognizing that the removal of debris from within the grounds of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station could potentially cause radioactive materials to be dispersed, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries have not provided any explanation to local residents to date. What are your thoughts on this point?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, with regard to explanations to local residents, I hear that explanations were provided locally in February this year. At that time the possibility of contamination was reported, but it was also explained that the cause was unclear, and would be examined further.

REPORTER: TEPCO is planning to dismantle the building cover on Unit 1 in order to remove debris around Unit 1 at the power station. What are your thoughts about such an operation in light of this recent problem?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In April this year, the Secretariat of the Nuclear Regulation Authority issued instructions to TEPCO concerning the prevention of radioactive material dispersal. These instructions required that additional dispersal prevention measures be implemented and the dispersal monitoring system be strengthened upon commencing dismantlement of the building cover on Unit 1. I would also like to add that the Government is implementing overall examinations of all bags of rice shipped from Fukushima Prefecture, so that in the event that any food product exceeds the reference value, it will not enter the market distribution chain.

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