Press Conference by the Defense Minister (09:36-09:40 A.M. February 26, 2010)
Press Conference by the Defense Minister
Time & Date: 09:36-09:40 A.M. February 26, 2010
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 purposes only)
The original text is in Japanese.
2. Questions and Answers
Concerning the relocation of Futenma Air Station, the Social Democratic Party decided yesterday at its regular meeting of executives that they would propose at the ruling parties' Review Committee a proposal for relocation to an area in Kyushu with a fixed term for usage in addition to the proposal for relocation to Guam. The remarks you made yesterday could be interpreted to mean that you would consider mainly the proposal to relocate it to the ground area of Camp Schwab. What are your views on the Social Democratic Party's proposal? What impact do you think this proposal will have as the government compiles its proposal?
I do not yet know the Social Democratic Party's proposal, so I cannot comment on it. In any event, the decision will be left to the Review Committee. I will state my view once I see how the Review Committee will compile its proposal. The response the Ministry of Defense will take is not something to be envisioned until that point in time. I read media reports this morning on the remarks I made yesterday; I felt as if it were a drop of water falling onto a dry sponge. I was merely expressing my view at a party for major Diet members of an allied political party.
You have expressed your desire that the Review Committee should draft a relocation proposal by the end of February. With March starting next week, does your position of calling for a prompt drafting remain unchanged?
Yes, it remains unchanged. In fact, I told the Chief Cabinet Secretary today after the Cabinet meeting that my wish for the drafting to be completed this month remained unchanged despite today being the last day for Cabinet meetings this month, and I asked for a prompt drafting of proposal.
The Chief Cabinet Secretary has stated that relocation proposals to the Review Committee would be subject to technical examinations by a team of experts, and that members of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) and US forces could take part in the team. How do you intend to advance these technical examinations or negotiations?
My understanding is the same as that of the Chief Cabinet Secretary.
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