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Press Conference by Minister Nishimura (Excerpt)

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

10:32-10:45 a.m.
Tuesday, October 24, 2023
Press Conference Room, METI Main Building

Question-and-Answer Session

IMF GDP forecast

Q: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects that Japan's nominal GDP on a dollar basis will fall to the 4th in the world in 2023. Of course, the impact of exchange fluctuations is rather large, and it cannot be simply concluded that Japan's national power is inferior to that of Germany. However, the change in ranks in terms of GDP will have global resonance to some extent. What do you think of this announcement?

A: I have yet to check the details of the IMF's report and announcement, so I will refrain from making any comments. However, it is true that Japan's growth is sluggish or remains weak, and amid the deflationary economy with the impact of exchange fluctuations, sales and GDP did not grow, and wages have not increased. Just as the Prime Minister stated yesterday in his policy speech, creating a growing economy is the greatest challenge for myself and the Government of Japan.
This year, the amount of domestic investment is expected to hit a record high. By encouraging drastic investment in human resources and realizing wage increases exceeding 5% as I have repeatedly requested, we would most like to achieve a growing economy wherein diverse human resources with various abilities take on challenges to generate innovation. While bearing these data in mind, we would like to implement economic policies in the current economic package that will allow for us to recover from the past 20 or 30 years and achieve an economy that grows with innovation in which individuals' incomes increase significantly.

ALPS treated water

Q: Today marks two months since the commencement of the discharge of ALPS treated water from the Fukushima Daiichi NPS. People in the fisheries business, especially those who are exporters of fisheries products, are still facing difficulties due to China's suspension of imports of fishery products from Japan. Could you explain your views and future measures again?

A: I have been exchanging opinions with fishermen, and I have heard from not only fishermen but also those engaging in the fisheries business that China's complete suspension of imports of fisheries products from Japan is having an impact. We have prepared a budget of 100.7 billion yen and have dealt with six cases already, but we have received more consultations. We aim to take prompt and appropriate measures, such as using the national budget to provide temporary storage of fisheries products.
We have also received a consultation on immediate cash-flow problems from relevant people in Miyagi. We eased the requirements for the safety net loans to provide funds up to 720 million yen. The Japan Finance Corporation has set up dedicated service counters and we will implement this financing support.
Additionally, many businesses and organizations, including the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) and the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, have launched campaign activities for selling fisheries products, such as Sanriku and Joban products, and these moves are spreading nationwide. In response to consultations from regional chambers of commerce and industry and economic organizations, we have offered cooperation for holding such events. The general public are also purchasing more fisheries products via the internet or using the Hometown Tax Program. We appreciate such cooperation and would like to make further efforts to expand the consumption of Japan's fisheries products.
Ultimately, TEPCO will provide compensation for any damages. The company has set up service counters at various locations. We will provide guidance to TEPCO so that compensation is provided promptly and appropriately. The Government of Japan continues strongly requesting China and Russia to make responses based on scientific evidence, including immediate repeal of the measure. We have published all data, including the results of the monitoring of sea water and fisheries products, in a transparent manner, and will continue the appropriate discharge of ALPS treated water, while receiving reviews by the IAEA.
Recently, the IAEA conducted sampling together with organizations and experts of China, the Republic of Korea and Canada, and they all brought back the samples for analyses. We aim to publish all the data to the whole world in an open format in a highly transparent manner. We will proceed with the discharge of ALPS treated water appropriately in compliance with international standards, while receiving reviews by the IAEA.

Last updated:2023-10-24