Press Conference

Press Conference by the Defense Minister(12:20-12:24 P.M. June 22, 2010)

Press Conference by the Defense Minister
Time & Date: 12:20-12:24 P.M. June 22, 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:
You seem to have remained in the Prime Minister's Office with Chief Cabinet Secretary Sengoku and Minister for Foreign Affairs Okada after the Cabinet Meeting today. What was discussed?

Minister:
We discussed the situation of North Korea and how to deal with PKO.

Question:
Concerning PKO, we assume some consultations took place on sending SDF troops to Sudan. Did you decide any direction on that matter?

Minister:
I think that the reality is somewhat different from your understanding. It seems that the Prime Minister's Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had thought that it would be possible to dispatch the SDF if they make a decision within June. As it is almost the end of the month, they may want to start consulting about it, but as far as the Ministry of Defense is concerned, the matter requires a certain amount of time. While we can understand that the United Nations is expecting a dispatch at this moment, I told both of them that it would be too late if we were to start training in Japan from now and spend another month for pre-commissioning training at the site. However, no conclusion has been reached today.

Question:
What did Foreign Minister Okada and Chief Cabinet Secretary Sengoku say in response?

Minister:
Both expressed their opinions.

Question:
Will the discussion continue?

Minister:
Yes.

Question:
While the experts' meeting on the Futenma issue has been started since yesterday, what do you expect from this meeting going forward?

Minister:
It was decided that the Chief Cabinet Secretary would be responsible for coordinating the issue. On the other hand, I think yesterday's meeting was more like a preliminary planning session, just to consider how the future discussion should be moved forward.

Question:
Concerning Sudan, today you told Foreign Minister Okada again that the dispatch would be difficult schedule-wise, but he asked again for your further reconsideration. Is that correct?

Minister:
For comments made by Foreign Minister Okada, please ask the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Question:
What were the Prime Minister's instructions regarding the issue of Sudan?

Minister:
Nothing in particular. Since the Chief Cabinet Secretary has just taken office, it seems to me that he might just say "Sudan" in the context of various international contributions such as Sudan, Cyprus and replenishment activities.

Question:
Did you talk about other matters besides Sudan today, such as replenishment activities and Cyprus?

Minister:
We did exchange opinions on various matters.

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

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