"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Press Conference by the Prime Minister on the 2024 Noto Peninsula Earthquake

[Date] January 1, 2024
[Source] Cabinet Public Affairs Office, Cabinet Secretariat
[Notes] Provisional translation
[Full text]

(On the status of damage caused by the 2024 Noto Peninsula Earthquake in and the Government's response going forward)

The 2024 Noto Peninsula Earthquake occurred today. I would like to express my heartfelt sympathies to all those affected, and as Prime Minister, I will take the lead in responding to the disaster. We are currently making utmost efforts to gather on-site information. In addition, a Cabinet Office investigation team headed by the state minister in charge of disaster management has arrived in Kanazawa in a Self Defense Forces (SDF) plane. I have had direct telephone talks with Wajima Mayor Sakaguchi and Suzu Mayor Izumiya. Mayor Sakaguchi told me that the unprecedentedly extensive disaster caused the cut-off of roads, power and water supply and mobile phone connections and made a request for "push-type support" in which the Government provides necessary supplies ahead of local requests. Mayor Izumiya explained that with so many houses collapsed and roads cut off, heavy machinery cannot access the affected area and made a request for the maritime transportation of kerosene, light oil, food, blankets and materials for temporary housing, among other things, given that it is impossible to transport such supplies from Kanazawa. Despite the difficulty in gathering information of the disaster that occurred just before sunset, I have given instructions to gather on-site information throughout the night until the following morning.

The dispatch of the SDF, wide-area emergency relief units of the police and emergency fire rescue units of fire departments to the affected area is extremely difficult due to roads being cut off and other factors, but it is necessary to evacuate those under collapsed buildings and other victims as soon as possible. I therefore have given instructions to take all possible measures to send such personnel to the affected area as soon as possible. Considering the cold weather, I have just given instructions to send push-type support by air or sea route, including water, food, blankets and other necessary supplies such as kerosene, gasoline and light oil.

Under such circumstances, I have decided to upgrade the Specific Disaster Countermeasures Headquarters to the Emergency Disaster Countermeasures Headquarters, which I will head. Based on the information gathered overnight, we will hold a meeting of the headquarters tomorrow at 9:15 a.m. Following the meeting, I will directly brief reporters on the details of the discussion at the meeting.

(On the correction that the Japan Meteorological Agency made on its earlier announcement of an earthquake with an intensity of seven on the Japanese scale of zero to seven)

We will identify the cause of the matter and appropriately deal with it.