Press Conference

Press Conference by the Defense Minister(10:09-10:13 A.M. June 11, 2010

Press Conference by the Defense Minister (Doorstepping)
Time & Date: 10:09-10:13 A.M. June 11, 2010
Place: 1st Floor Lobby of Building A, 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.

1. Announcements

None.

2. Questions and Answers

Question:
The Kan Cabinet, which was inaugurated this week, has approval ratings of over 60% according to the opinion polls conducted by news media. How do you perceive this?

Minister:
I am extremely glad to have so many expectations from the people. I think we must renew our resolve to meet their expectations by going back to the basics of the DPJ administration.

Question:
What do you see as contributing to the high approval ratings?

Minister:
I think one of the most notable factors is that Prime Minister Hatoyama resigned with Secretary-General Ozawa in order to take responsibility for the issue of "money and politics."

Question:
On the other hand, Mr. Shizuka Kamei, the Leader of the People's New Party (PNP), resigned his Cabinet post yesterday, after the discussion within the ruling parties on the extension of the Diet session, or the treatment of the postal reform bill. What do you think of this?

Minister:
This is truly regrettable. Because we had so far been working together with Mr. Kamei, whom I have regarded as an indispensable, weighty figure within the Cabinet given his experience and as he had positively expressed insightful opinions in various discussions within the Cabinet. I assume that Mr. Kamei resigned to draw a line himself, so as to keep to his principles. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to continuing to hear valuable opinions from him as a member of the ruling coalition.

Question:
The Prime Minister and the Democratic Party of Japan have settled in the direction of not significantly extending the current Diet session, fixing the date of the House of Councillors elections on July 11. How do you regard this judgment ?c?

Minister:
I have some experience in coordinating Diet affairs. As far as I can tell from that experience, there seems to have been a judgment under the current political situation that extending the session for two weeks will not guarantee the passage of bills. Another consideration was that the people are fully aware of the forthcoming election. I think the issue has been settled as it should be, considering these various factors, including the need to minimize confusion in the local districts.

Question:
Concerning the coalition, the previous Cabinet faced a major difficulty in coordinating on the Futenma issue. How do you feel a sense of speed in the decision made by Prime Minister Kan?

Minister:
The coalition issue is another matter, which is completely different in nature from the Futenma issue, where one party absolutely refused to accept our policy. I think this time, the Prime Minister made a quick response and an appropriate decision, after taking the timing into account. In that sense, I also feel that he was fully aware of the need for speedy decision-making.

(For the remainder of the press conference, please refer to the Japanese version.)

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