Press Conference by the Defense Minister (9:40-9:46 A.M. May 12, 2009)
Press Conference by the Defense Minister
Time & Date: 9:40-9:46 A.M. May 12, 2009
Place: Press Conference Room, Ministry of Defense (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.
2. Questions and Answers
The opposition party leader Ichiro Ozawa, President of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), announced his resignation yesterday. Some consider that the resignation came too late after his secretary was arrested in March. How do you take Mr. Ozawa’s resignation?
I was surprised, because this came all of a sudden. I would like to refrain from commenting on this, since it is the result of his own decision based on various considerations, but my honest feeling is, “So, he really quits.?EI do wonder what the rationale was behind resigning at this stage, but that was his own decision, whether it is early or late. As far as the government is concerned, we are in the midst of the budget deliberations at the Diet. It is most important to pass the budget at an early date, and I hope that Mr. Ozawa’s resignation will not delay that process.
Since the arrest of Mr. Ozawa’s secretary in March, the approval ratings for the Aso Cabinet have been climbing gradually, pushing the ruling parties on the offensive side. However, a concern has arisen within the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) that Mr. Ozawa’s resignation may again change the political tide. What do you think about such speculations?
We cannot gain much by waiting for the opposition parties to stumble. The government should focus on addressing the issues at hand, in particular the various crises, by steadily implementing countermeasures against the economic crisis, influenza, and piracy. With the Lower House election awaiting, there are various things for a political party to consider, but I believe what is important for us is to address the people’s concerns one by one, through the efforts to overcome the current economic situation, pass the related budget, and minimize the threat of influenza. As I have always been saying, we do take the approval ratings very seriously, but we have responsibility for doing our tasks without being carried away by these figures. As mentioned now, the ruling parties must be thinking about the political situations, but from the government’s standpoint, it is more important for us to tackle issues one by one.
(For the remainder of the press conference, please refer to the Japanese version.)
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