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Press Conference by Minister Nishimura (Excerpt)

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

9:49-10:09 a.m.
Friday, February 10, 2023
Press Conference Room, METI Main Building

Opening Remarks

Ministerial Meeting on Final Disposal

I would like to say two things at the start.
First, a ministerial meeting on final disposal was held after today's Cabinet meeting.
We included more members in the meeting in response to Prime Minister Kishida's remarks last December. Based on a directive by the Chief Cabinet Secretary, we have compiled the measures we discussed with the relevant ministries and agencies in the form of a revised draft of the Basic Policy on the Final Disposal of Specified Radioactive Waste. We will start a call for public comments as soon as possible. I would like to hear many views from the citizens.
The administrative staff will explain the details later. Please ask them for more information.

Basic Policy for Realization of GX / GX Promotion Bill

Second, a Cabinet decision was made today on the Basic Policy for Realization of GX and the bill for promoting transition to the decarbonized growth economic structure, or the so-called GX Promotion Bill.
The Basic Policy for Realization of GX will set forth the basic policy for ensuring a stable supply of energy as the foundation of people's lives and economic activities, decarbonization efforts toward GX, and a growth-oriented carbon pricing concept, in response to climate change issues and Russia's aggression in Ukraine. It also aims to achieve economic growth.
Based on this basic policy, we have also formulated the GX Promotion Bill, which includes necessary legislative measures. We will make every effort to accelerate public-private initiatives toward achieving GX together with relevant ministries and agencies.

Question-and-Answer Session


Q: This is about the Basic Policy for Realization of GX, which the Cabinet has approved. Regarding the replacement of nuclear power plants and extension of their operations, there have been criticisms that the drastic changes in the nuclear power policy since the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident are being hastily decided without discussions with the public. Today's Cabinet decision is made after a call for public comments. Please tell us your thoughts on whether the many views from the citizens have been reflected in the decision.
Also, please tell us about the main revisions based on the public comments, particularly those based on public comments regarding nuclear policy.

A: First of all, we implemented a call for public comments for 31 days from December 23 of last year to January 22. We have received a total of 3,966 submissions from 3,303 different individuals. All the submissions were examined and grouped into 350 main categories. We have released a compilation of the results of the public comments today, picking specific examples from each category, and answering them.
We have received public comments that were both for and against nuclear power, hydrogen, ammonia, carbon pricing and similar topics. We understand that these topics of discussion have been thoroughly and sufficiently discussed by various councils.
On the other hand, we received many views that asked for clarification of the objectives of the policy or that shared new viewpoints, including views asking to clarify how we reflect on the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station regarding the use of nuclear power clear, and other views regarding proceeding with carbon pricing while firmly fostering understanding among the citizens and businesses. We have made necessary revisions regarding these topics while taking into consideration our coordination with the ruling parties of the national government and discussions with the ministries.
As the starting point for the energy policy, the Policy further emphasizes how we reflect on the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and clearly states that the restart of nuclear power plants will be carried out by prioritizing safety over any other factors. We are also clarifying the business risks and considering the safety of CCS, namely collection, capture, and storage of carbon dioxide.
There seem to be some comments that the discussions on forming the basic policy were hasty. However, the policy has been formulated after more than 100 discussions by experts representing various positions in the government’s advisory committees and other forums, as well as discussions within the ruling party of the national government. I am confident that we have discussed them thoroughly.
Moving forward, we will explain the Policy in a way that is easy to understand through various methods including briefings and exchanges of views so that the citizens will understand it more fully.

Last updated:2023-02-17