Thursday, May 31, 2012 (AM)
Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)
- Restarting operations at nuclear power stations (Oi Nuclear Power Station)
REPORTER: Concerning the restarting of nuclear power stations, the Union of Kansai Governments made a statement to the effect that they would "strongly request that an appropriate decision be made based on the understanding that safety judgment by the national government is provisional." So I would like to confirm something once again, which is that, in the event that Japan is able to make it through the summer by restarting the stations, does the Government have any intention to again halt work at the Oi Nuclear Power Station?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I have heard that Minister Hosono has already answered this. After setting up a new regulatory agency, the decision about the restarting, which is to be based on provisional safety standard, will possibly be reevaluated. I have heard that he answered in this way. I believe that the answer is that if new standards are developed for the evaluation and any reevaluations after the establishment of the new regulatory agency, then a judgment will be made on this yet again.
REPORTER: The Prime Minister said at the Meeting among Four Ministers on the Issue of Nuclear Power Stations yesterday that the Government has been able to gradually obtain the understanding of the Union of Kansai Governments. Do you feel then that you have yet to earn their understanding?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I believe that this is similar to what I said during my press conference yesterday. And I think that at the Meeting among Four Ministers on the Issue of Nuclear Power Stations after that, the Prime Minister said something to that effect. The Union of Kansai Governments announced its opinion on the restarting of nuclear power stations yesterday. Based on this, the Government has stated that a certain degree of understanding has been reached on this issue within Kansai. My intention when I spoke this way was to indicate that there will still be a decision on the part of Fukui Prefecture and Oi Town, the municipalities which hold the nuclear power station. There is, of course, no change to the fact that the national Government will bear the responsibility for the final decision on this.