Press Conference

Press Conference by the Defense Minister (10:32-10:35 A.M. January 28, 2009)

Press Conference by the Defense Minister (Doorstepping)
Time & Date: 10:32-10:35 A.M. January 28, 2009
Place:Minister's Reception Room at the MOD

(This is a provisional translation of an announcement by the Defense Minister and the abstract of the Q&A session at the subsequent press conference for reference purpose only)
The original full text is in Japanese.

1. Announcements

None.

2. Questions and Answers

Question:
Please give us your comments on your issuance of the order to prepare for measures against piracy by MSDF's maritime security operations, which has been a controversial issue. Please also tell us about issues related to the preparation that you have to resolve, such as the operation of units.

Minister:
Today, I issued instructions for preparation for anti-piracy measures to the Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff, the Chief of Staff of the MSDF, and the Director General of the Defense Intelligence Headquarters. I also issued an order for the preparation to the Commander in Chief of the Self-Defense Fleet. The instructions and the order were issued for preparations required for maritime security operations, which may be ordered as a temporary measure until a new law is established. I think that we should basically take anti-piracy measures after a new law is established. In addition to such preparation work, the MOD considers it crucial to speed up the establishment of the new law. I would like to devote my energy to securing this point.

Question:
How do you consider the prospects for issuing an order for maritime security operations, and what issues do you consider are to be resolved to establish a new law, which you have just referred to?

Minister:
We would like to strive to collect necessary information in the process of the preparation and to make appropriate decisions about issuing maritime security operations. Establishment of a new law is the basis for the SDF to engage in anti-piracy operations. We will speed up the review on a new law to submit a bill at the earliest possible time. At any rate, we would like to strive for complete preparations, while considering these points.

Question:
What instruction did you receive from the Prime Minister?

Minister:
The Prime Minister has stated the speed-up of the review since last year. Instead of giving me any instructions, the Prime Minister told me today to think and work harder to undertake this, in view of the situation that the ruling parties, including their anti-piracy project team, are requesting us to address this issue proactively. Based on this situation, I have just issued instructions for the preparation.

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