|Top > Countermeasures for the Great East Japan Earthquake|
Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary
Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 04:04pm
Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary EdanoCHIEF CABINET SECRETARY EDANO:I have three items to report to you. The first item is about livestock within the 20km radius of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO). Although it is extremely regrettable, pursuant to the provisions of Article 20, Paragraph 3 of the Act on Special Measures Concerning Nuclear Emergency Preparedness, instructions have been issued by the Chief of the Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters to the governor of Fukushima Prefecture to euthanize livestock inside the 20km no-entry zone. This measure is to be implemented after gaining the approval of the owners of the livestock and the livestock are to be euthanized in a manner that causes minimal suffering. For further details please direct your questions to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).
REPORTER: With regard to the matter relating to livestock that you have just mentioned, can you provide any information about the compensation that will be provided?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY EDANO: My understanding is that based on the guidelines of the advisory council, any livestock that are disposed in the areas affected on the basis of Government instructions, will of course be eligible for compensation. I feel very sorry for the owners of the livestock who have spent time and effort rearing the animals and I fear that even if they are provided financial compensation this decision will be agonizing for them. I expect that TEPCO will move to provide compensation without delay.
REPORTER: With regard to the euthanizing of livestock, what is the reason for the timing of the decision and does the Government intend to seek the understanding of the people who will be affected by the decision?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY EDANO: I believe that there are many owners of livestock who wish to continue to rear their animals and this decision will be a very difficult one for these people. However, given the fact that the no-entry zone has been designated, it is no longer possible for these livestock to continue to be fed. If they can no longer be fed then it would also be tremendously painful for the owners to know that the animals that they have fed and nurtured by hand are being left to grow weak and die from starvation. I realize that both choices are very difficult and painful ones to be forced into making, but in view of the fact that for safety reasons the area has been designated as a no-entry zone and therefore it is no longer possible to continue to feed the livestock, the only option remaining is to euthanize them. Bearing in mind the agonizing position for the owners, it has also been a difficult decision for the Government to take responsibility in issuing these instructions and I realize that there are criticisms that the people affected are being forced into making a hard decision in the most difficult situations. It is these difficult circumstances which have led to the Government taking responsibility and issuing these measures.
REPORTER: I understand that we should inquire with MAFF for details, but how long does the Government anticipate it will take to implement this measure?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY EDANO: We have issued the measures in the following format. The measures are basically to be implemented in the manner in which I have just explained, with approval being sought from the owners of the livestock. The measures will be implemented as we gain the understanding of the owners in a sensitive manner and explain the Government measures to them.
REPORTER: I wonder if you know the approximate number of livestock that will be subject to this measure.
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY EDANO: I understand that this measure will apply to approximately 1,000 but please direct your question to MAFF for details.