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Press Conference by Minister Nishimura (Excerpt)

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


Friday, October 6, 2023
Press Conference Room, METI Main Building

Opening Remarks

J-Startup Impact and official visit to Australia

I want to cover two topics today.
First, METI has been implementing the J-Startup Program to intensively provide support in public-private collaboration to startups which play the central role in creating innovation.
From this fiscal year, METI newly launched J-Startup Impact under the J-Startup Program for strengthening support for so-called impact startups, which make efforts to solve social problems and thereby aim to achieve a sustainable society. Today, 30 companies selected from among applicants for the first public invitation will be announced.
Although it was the first public invitation, we received nearly 500 applications. This suggests a high level of interest among startups which aim to solve social problems.
Impact startups, which share the aim of achieving sustainable growth while solving social problems, symbolically represent and embody the idea of the new form of capitalism proposed by the Kishida administration. Starting with the launch of this new program, METI will continuously promote comprehensive support for impact startups. The details will be announced later.
Second, I will officially visit Melbourne, Australia, from tonight to Monday, October 9. Australia is a special strategic partner with which we share fundamental values, such as democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, and we will jointly achieve the goal of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
This time, we will hold the Fifth Japan-Australia Ministerial Economic Dialogue, in which I would like to discuss cooperation in the trade sector and the natural resources and energy sector, as Australia is a resource-rich country. Japan and Australia are members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). I intend to have thorough discussions on trade and resources.
Companies accompanying me on this official visit include more than ten startups. The schedule will provide them with opportunities for business matching and networking with local companies.
Additionally, the 60th Annual Joint Business Conference will be held with the participation of approximately 600 economic VIPs of Japan and Australia. I will deliver a speech on the further deepening of economic relationships between the two countries.
I will also visit the Port of Hastings, near Melbourne, together with the Honorable Madeline King MP, Minister for Resources, and board the vessel Suiso Frontier built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, the first and only liquefied hydrogen carrier in the world.
I would like to take advantage of this official visit to Australia to further strengthen the relationship between our two countries.

Question-and-Answer Session

ALPS treated water

Q: Yesterday, the second round of discharge of ALPS treated water commenced. How do you view this?

A: The discharge of ALPS treated water is an important step for decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi NPS and is a challenge that cannot be avoided. Our policy is to steadily and consistently continue the discharge, while ensuring safety at the highest level.
The results of the monitoring regarding the first round of discharge from August 24 have all been published, and it has been confirmed that the discharge was conducted safely with the concentration of tritium maintained at a level far below 1,500 Bq, which is approximately one-seventh of the WHO's standard for drinking water quality. Relevant facilities were inspected after the completion of the first round, and we received a report that no abnormality was found.
Additionally, it was also confirmed that the concentrations of radioactive materials other than tritium in the treated water to be discharged in the second round were below the regulatory standard and that the concentration of tritium in the treated water sufficiently diluted with seawater also satisfied the regulatory standard. We heard that the second round of discharge commenced yesterday, October 5, after these facts had been confirmed. The IAEA also inspected the concentration of tritium in the treated water before the second round of discharge and confirmed that the concentration is far below 1,500 Bq.
The discharge commenced after strict scrutiny, as I explained, and we will continue the utmost efforts to ensure safety, while receiving reviews by the IAEA experts continuously stationed at the NPS. We will communicate the results of the monitoring in full inside and outside of Japan in a highly transparent manner.
While continuously having close communications with local residents, we will do our best to ensure safety, prevent harmful rumors and provide support for maintaining their livelihoods.

Last updated:2023-10-06