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Press Conference by Minister Saito (Excerpt)

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

8:34 to 8:40 a.m.
Friday, March 15, 2024
Second floor lobby, Annex to the House of Representatives

Opening Remarks

Visit to Hyogo and Osaka

At the beginning, I would like to mention one point.
Tomorrow, on March 16, I will visit Hyogo and Osaka Prefectures. In Hyogo Prefecture, I will visit hydrogen-related facilities operated by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. With a view to introducing hydrogen and other low-carbon resources that are promising as clean fuels, the Diet is holding deliberations on the bill to promote a hydrogen-based society. On this trip, I will visit a liquefied hydrogen carrier and a demonstration loading/unloading terminal, which are undergoing a demonstration test in preparation for the practical use of hydrogen, and a hydrogen cogeneration system as a facility that is utilizing hydrogen.
In Osaka Prefecture, I will visit Fukushima Galilei Co., Ltd. Under the bill to amend the Act on Strengthening Industrial Competitiveness, which was submitted to the current Diet session, “med-sized enterprises,” which hold the key to putting Japan on the path to growth, are legally defined, and measures to promote their growth will be implemented. I hope to learn about the nature of the growth strategies that med-sized enterprises are implementing and the management challenges they face by hearing such details first hand from Fukushima Galilei, one of those companies.

Question-and-Answer Session

Restart of Tokyo Electric Power's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Station

Q: I would like to ask you about the restart of TEPCO’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Station. There has been a media report that as early as next week, you may seek Niigata Governor Hanazumi’s understanding on the restart. Could you clarify the facts?
Also, IAEA Director General Grossi remarked that there is no obstacle to the restart. What is your current thinking on the timing of the restart?

A: Regarding the restart of TEPCO’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Station, at the end of last year, I requested that Tokyo Electric Power submit a report on their efforts to regain trust. Today, I am scheduled to receive a report directly from President Kobayakawa. Otherwise, nothing has been decided for the moment. This week, when I held a meeting with IAEA Director General Grossi, I informed him that in reality, there are hurdles that must be overcome and that we will make our best efforts.
As for the question regarding the timing of the restart, I will refrain from providing an answer to that question for the moment as it would be presumptuous on my part.

Last updated:2024-03-15