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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

March 30, 2017 (AM)

If you can not view the video,click here(Japanese Government Internet TV)
This video's audio is a provisional translation through live simultaneous interpretation.

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Q&As

REPORTER: Prime Minister May of the United Kingdom officially notified its exit from the European Union (EU). Can you once again explain what global impacts the Japanese Government expects from the exit of the United Kingdom?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We are aware that, on March 29, the Government of the United Kingdom officially notified its intention to withdraw to the EU. The Japanese Government sees the United Kingdom's exit from the EU as an issue that has direct implications on the businesses of Japanese companies, and is closely monitoring the situation with great interest. Following the notification of the exit, today, on March 30, a government taskforce will be convened under the leadership of Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hagiuda in order to aggregate all of the analyses conducted by the relevant ministries and agencies at this point in time and to discuss the way forward. The Government will continue to make use of this taskforce to collect and analyze information, including on the direction of the U.K.-EU negotiations and on market trends. At the same time, the relevant ministries and agencies will work collectively in making further efforts to support Japanese companies, in order to ensure that the adverse effects of the exit are minimized as much as possible. Japan will continue to work closely with the relevant countries, including the United Kingdom.

REPORTER: A related question. As you also just noted, numerous Japanese companies are doing business in the United Kingdom, raising concerns about how Japanese companies will be affected. You just mentioned supports for Japanese companies. What kind of supports will the Government be considering exactly?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: We still do not know how the impacts will manifest themselves. In this regard, the Government's taskforce that I mentioned will conduct hearings with Japanese companies in the United Kingdom in order to hear their requests and so on, so that we can minimize the adverse effects as much as possible.

REPORTER: I have a question regarding the lifting of evacuation orders in Fukushima Prefecture. Evacuation orders will be lifted in three municipalities, including Namie Town, at 12 AM on March 31, and in Tomioka Town on April 1. While evacuation orders have yet to be lifted in some municipalities, the orders will be lifted in many municipalities by the end of the fiscal year, which the Government had been aiming for. Can you please share the Government's assessment?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As you just stated, in a total of nine municipalities, except for Futaba Town and Okuma Town, evacuation orders have been lifted for all "restricted residence areas" and "zones in preparation for the lifting of the evacuation order."  The population subject to the evacuation order and the size of the areas under the evacuation order have decreased by about 70% compared to when such areas and zones were first established. We regard that the lifting of the evacuation orders marks a new start towards reconstruction. Even after the orders are lifted, the Government will work collectively in making maximum efforts to revitalize the affected areas, including rebuilding industries and "nariwai," or occupations and livelihoods that sustain people's daily lives , and securing places of employment.

REPORTER: I have a related question. Many people in fact have been unable to return because they have relocated their center of life to their evacuation destinations, or because of infrastructure issues. For the purpose of facilitating their return, what specific measures will the Government be taking to develop an environment necessary for the people to live in these areas? You named a few of them a short while ago.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, the Government considers it vital that an environment be created so that people can feel reassured in choosing to return, should they wish to do so. For example, more than 60% of the people have returned in Tamura City and more than 70% of the people have returned in Kawauchi Village. We believe that the people's desire to return to the areas will increase as reconstruction makes more headway. To ensure that as many people as possible can return to these areas, the Government will make collective efforts to develop a facilitating environment even after the evacuation orders have been lifted, in cooperation with the municipalities and Fukushima Prefecture.

(Abridged)


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