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Press Conference by Minister Kajiyama (excerpted version)

*Note: This is a provisional translation for reference purposes only.

10:35–10:47 a.m.
Friday, December 18, 2020
Press Conference Room, METI

Question-and-Answer Session

ALPS-treated Water

Q: I would like to ask about ALPS-treated water at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. A study meeting on this issue was held yesterday at the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), and some said that discussions are still insufficient for the understanding of the stakeholders. However, with regard to the decision on the government policy on the disposal method, Prime Minister Suga said it cannot be postponed forever. Would you tell us how the current situation is: will it take a little more time for the decision?

A: First, regarding the meeting at the LDP, I recognize that the position of the ruling party regarding the handling of ALPS-treated water was presented in a proposal received this September from the Headquarters for Accelerating Reconstruction after the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Specifically, we received recommendations that the government should responsibly and quickly determine the policy based on the opinions of the people concerned, which includes local community voices being anxious about water tanks continuously increasing therefore requiring a fundamental disposal method.
We take this as formal recommendations that have been passed through a political review at the LDP.
The study meeting held yesterday was called on by individual lawmakers within the LDP to further deepen their understanding of the handling of ALPS-treated water, and I understand that there will be no change in the party’s position.
On that basis, as for the timing of the decision of the government policy, which I have been reiterating, I think it is an issue that cannot be postponed forever, as the storage sites have been tighter. While continuing careful discussions and maintaining a balance between various factors, the government will draw a conclusion responsibly at an appropriate time.
We held a “Team for Contaminated Water and Decommissioning Issues” meeting this year. Since then, we have been holding discussions with various organizations, as well as proceeding with examination of issues at each ministry and agency. I would like to make a decision at an appropriate time based on the accumulation of these discussions.

Last updated:2020-12-18