Outline of the Press Conference by the Defense Minister (10:52－11:03A.M. August 29, 2008)
Press Conference by the Defense Minister
Time & Date: 10:40－10:57 A.M. September 2, 2008
Place:The MOD Antechamber in the House of Councilors(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.
2. Questions and Answers
You were already asked this question yesterday, but what do you think about the Prime Minister’s resignation, which he announced yesterday?
Hearing the first media report, I was honestly surprised. As I listened to his remarks on various matters at the press conference, I perceived the resignation as a decision he had made after earnest considerations on the need to break the political impasse, prior to the upcoming extraordinary Diet session. Since last year, the Diet has been hardly able to decide on issues. An economic stimulus package for the people, a drastic shift to a new administration by the establishment of the Consumer Affairs Agency and a resolute stance toward the fight against terrorism including the continuation of the Replenishment Support Special Measures Law are key policy goals. I think that the Prime Minister considered that it may be difficult to ensure orderly deliberations and achieve good results at the upcoming extraordinary Diet session under the current situation, and made the decision from the broad perspective that the posture on our side needs to be thoroughly improved in order to live up to the expectations of the people.
You have come to this situation only one month after you assumed office. Media reports and various opinions regard the resignation as “abandonment.” Do you have any opinions about such criticism?
As I have just said, I believe the Prime Minister has made the decision from a broad perspective for the government and ruling party to address various challenges. I believe we should make efforts in the future to get good results from this major decision by the Prime Minister. In addition, no stagnation can be allowed in the administration. I believe I should continuously and steadily carry out my duties as the Defense Minister until the appointment of ministers following this designation of the Prime Minister.
Has anyone including the Prime Minister made comments about the resignation at the Cabinet Meeting and Informal Cabinet Meeting?
The specifics of the Cabinet Meeting and the Informal Cabinet Meeting are supposed to be announced by the Chief Cabinet Secretary representing the Government. Therefore, I will refrain from making any comment. However, my personal view is what I have just mentioned.
Given the time span from the election of the next LDP president to the designation of the Prime Minister, the opening of the extraordinary Diet session may be delayed. What do you think of the possible impact this delay would have on the Replenishment Support Special Measures Law?
I have learned from media reports that the Democratic Party plans to elect its leader on September 21, and suggests that it is difficult to open the Diet session until that time. As an LDP Diet member, rather than as the Minister of Defense, I consider it necessary for us to keep such moves in sight and choose our new president by election, after having fair and square discussion on policies.
(For the remainder of the press conference, please refer to the Japanese version.)
- Press Resources