Wednesday, August 22, 2012 (AM)
Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)
- A meeting between the Prime Minister and representatives of anti-nuclear organization
REPORTER: This afternoon, there will be a meeting between Prime Minister Noda and representatives of anti-nuclear organizations. What are the aims of this meeting?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: A press release will be issued later in relation to this matter. From 2 PM onward, we are holding a meeting with members of citizen groups and other individuals with former Prime Minister Naoto Kan acting as the mediator. The meeting will be held in the main conference room on the fourth floor of the Prime Minister's Office. Attendees will include citizen group representatives, and from our side, Prime Minister Noda, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Saito, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Tezuka and, of course, former Prime Minister Kan. The meeting will be fully open to the press. As Prime Minister Noda always stresses, we are aware that there are varying opinions; some are for nuclear power while others are against it. We have always taken the stance that we would like to hear as many opinions and thoughts as possible. For this issue, we told former Prime Minister Kan that we would very much like to hear the opinions of those who are against nuclear power. Mr. Kan then arranged it for us. Additionally, from 3:30 this afternoon onwards I believe that there will be another meeting with the Chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Tadashi Okamura. This meeting is taking place as we wish to also hear the opinion of a representative of small and medium sized businesses on the topic of energy policy.
REPORTER: My question is related to the same topic. As you said, this topic of nuclear power could divide public opinion, and it has been pointed out that in the case of an issue such as this, it is questionable, in the interest of fairness, for the Prime Minister to meet with specific organizations. How do you respond to this view?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I have been informed that the meeting will not involve one specific organization. It will in fact be a combination of different organizations. On the other hand, it is a fact that we have been meeting with various organizations including business organizations, for instance, today we will be meeting with the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and in the past I have received a number of requests from the Keidanren (Japan Business Federation).
REPORTER: I believe the nature of those organizations is different from the business organizations. It appears to me that the organizations leading the demonstrations are totally different from business organizations such as the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I don't believe that they are completely different. As we all know, a number of organizations are taking various actions and they have various opinions. As I said, today's meeting will be mediated by former Prime Minister Kan.