Japan

Press briefing at the Prime Minister’s Office for members of the foreign press, 15 April 2011

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Mr. Noriyuki Shikata, Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Public Relations: Good evening. Let us start this evening’s press briefing. My name is Noriyuki Shikata, Deputy Cabinet Secretary for Public Relations at the Prime Minister’s Office. To my right is Mr. Hidehiko Nishiyama, Deputy Director-General of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), and to his right is Mr. Ichiro Nakagawa, Counselor of the Resources Enhancement Promotion Department, Fisheries Agency of Japan. To his right is Mr. Takeshi Matsunaga, Assistant Press Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). To my left-hand side is Mr. Shinichi Kawarada, Advisor to Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), and to his left is Mr. Masanori Shinano, Counselor Secretariat of the Nuclear Safety Commission (NSC). Lastly, to his left is Mr. Eiichi Yokota, Senior Technical Officer of the Food Safety Department of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW).

I would like to just introduce to you a couple of points coming from today’s press conference by Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano. Regarding the issue of responding to the economic damage caused by the accidents at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, the first meeting of the headquarters in charge of responding to the economic damage caused by the accidents at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station took place. The purpose of the headquarters is to discuss the basic framework of responding to the economic damage caused by the nuclear accidents. The headquarters have decided that the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has to temporarily provide the necessary cash to evacuees as quickly as possible for their loss caused by the evacuation and indoor evacuation orders.

The headquarters have also affirmed that this money should serve as temporary payment for the overall compensation for the damage to be paid to evacuees that is supposed to be confirmed in the future, when the contents of respective detailed damage is specified.

As for the amount of payment, the government’s basic stance is to provide 1 million yen per household to the evacuees as a temporary payment. This amount is intended to be extended at the earliest by Golden Week, which means the end of April or the beginning of May. Also, as for the possible recipients, regardless of evacuation or indoor 2 evacuation, all the evacuees within a 30km radius from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station are eligible for temporary payment.

Moving onto Mr. Edano’s afternoon press conference, there was an announcement regarding the issue of power shortages during the summertime. Today, the government has received a report from TEPCO about the increase of electricity supply as a counter-measure for possible power shortages during this summer. According to TEPCO’s report, the power supply will increase by 5 million kW by restoring the disaster-stricken thermal power plants, making use of existing aging thermal power plants, and also making use of pumping up hydroelectric power plants. Due to these efforts, around 50 million kW of power is likely to be created.

There was an instruction given by Mr. Edano to TEPCO take every potential measure to secure the safety of the strengthened power supply. At the same time, Mr. Edano has asked TEPCO to make efforts to generate more power and has instructed them to report the result by the latter half of next week.