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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

January 16, 2018 (PM)

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Simultaneous interpretation services for this video are provided by a third party.

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER: It is now expected that the Japan-U.S. Nuclear Energy Agreement would be automatically extended. The Government’s nuclear energy policies would thus be maintained in their current state. Could you please explain the significance of the extension of this agreement?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, the effective period of the Japan-U.S. Nuclear Energy Agreement is 30 years. In other words, it is effective until July 16, 2018. However, it is the case that, afterwards, rather than the agreement automatically coming to an end, it will be maintained, provided that neither Japan nor the United States informs the other party of its intent to end the agreement. Not only is this one of the foundations of Japan’s nuclear energy-related activities, but it is also extremely important from the perspective of Japan-U.S. relations. The Government will continue to work closely on nuclear energy matters, both within the Government and also bilaterally with the United States.

REPORTER: Policies related to nuclear fuel, which can be considered to be a major pillar of Japan’s nuclear energy policies, are in effect no longer functioning. Could you please explain how the Government intends to overcome the current situation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Japan will continue to promote the nuclear fuel cycle from various perspectives, including reducing the amount of high-level radioactive waste, lowering radiation levels, and promoting the effective use of resources. This is also included in Japan’s Basic Energy Plan. The Government will continue to promote the nuclear fuel cycle, while placing the utmost priority on ensuring safety, and address and resolve the issues we face one by one.

REPORTER: I have a question about Prime Minister Abe’s attendance at the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Mr. Toshihiro Nikai, Secretary General of the Liberal Democratic Party, held a press conference today, in which he stated that the Government would endeavor to achieve this. He seemed to indicate that the Government is aiming to enable the Prime Minister to attend the opening ceremony, for example by adjusting the Diet schedule. First of all, could you please share your thoughts on this statement by Mr. Nikai, who is Secretary General of one of the ruling parties and therefore a person who is able to influence the operation of the Diet? Furthermore, if, as Mr. Nikai has suggested, it becomes unnecessary for the Prime Minister to attend the Diet, does the Government believe that the Prime Minister should attend the opening ceremony?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Regarding the Prime Minister’s attendance of the opening ceremony, the Government will fully consider all relevant matters, including the schedule of the Diet, before making a decision. There is absolutely no change to this line of thinking.


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