Wednesday, July 25, 2012 (PM)
Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)
Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura
- The overseas deployment of integrated infrastructure systems (The contract awarded to a business consortium led by a Japanese company for the project to replace U.K. high-speed trains)
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The Department for Transport of the United Kingdom (UK) has announced that a business consortium led by a Japanese company has been awarded the contract for the project to replace high-speed trains of the UK (Intercity Express Programme). The Government of Japan, which promotes the overseas deployment of integrated infrastructure systems, positions this project as a vital project from the viewpoint of realizing the New Growth Strategy. Various parties, including the Prime Minister and other relevant ministers, have directly reached out (to the UK Government), and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and the Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) have been providing public financing support. The Government, as such, has been making concerted efforts to support this outcome. The decision to award the contract to a consortium made up of a Japanese company was a result of the UK's positive assessment of Japan's advanced rail technology and the "All-Japan" initiatives, which include the Government. We are very pleased with this outcome. Japan expects that this contract will further enhance Japan-UK relations and looks forward to continuing to engage in the overseas deployment of integrated infrastructure systems through public-private partnerships. For details, I ask that you please inquire with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT). MLIT will be releasing a comment later this afternoon.
- The Senkaku Islands (regarding bereaved families' wish to land on the islands to commemorate the victims of the incident in 1945)
REPORTER: Today, during the meeting (of the House of Councillors Special Committee on the Comprehensive Reform of Social Security and Taxation Systems), the Prime Minister stated concerning a memorial service for the Senkaku incident (in which two Japanese vessels were attacked by the United States in July 1945, and one foundered and another drifted ashore on the Senkaku Islands), that the Prime Minister takes seriously the wishes of the victims' families. This was in response to a question regarding the request of a nonpartisan group of Diet members seeking the Government's approval for landing on the islands. Is my understanding correct that the Prime Minister has expressed intent to positively consider this request?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Looking carefully at the transcript now, first of all, I see that the word "consider" was not mentioned at all. What the Prime Minister said was this: "There are bereaved families who wish to commemorate the victims. Their wishes should be taken seriously. I understand yesterday, you (questioner) read a written form for the request to land on the islands for holding a memorial service. Upon confirming the facts, the Cabinet will determine how this matter will be addressed, bearing in mind a range of factors, including the Government's purpose of leasing the islands, which is to maintain and manage the Senkaku Islands peacefully and stably." So first of all, I do not believe any considerations can be made when the request has not been submitted. I believe my response is in line with the responses I have always been giving at these press conferences.