Press Conference by the Defense Minister (06:40-06:49 P.M. March 15, 2011)
- Press Conference by the Defense Minister (Doorstepping)
Time & Date: 06:40-06:49 P.M. March 15, 2011
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.
2. Questions and Answers
What concrete requests have you received regarding the mobilization of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) regarding the nuclear power station in Fukuoka?
We are discussing how to get coolant into the power station. If the SDF is going to do this, then we must consider various options as to how it should be done. For instance, should we drop it from the sky? We have not yet come to a decision on whether to do it this way or not. As I stated moments ago at the start of the meeting of the Ministry of Defense Disaster Response Headquarters, we could spray the coolant from the land and watch for results, and then perhaps drop a large amount of coolant from the air as well once things appear to be under control. We are discussing what kind of process to move forward with.
Would this be limited to only the Unit 4 reactor?
Yes, as of right now. However, we have already had problems at the Unit 1, 2, 3 and 4 reactors. The Disaster Response Headquarters is of course linking up with Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) for this, and I believe that we must not go through this process again for Unit 5 and 6 reactors. I want the Disaster Response Headquarters to work to make sure of this.
What are your current expectations regarding the activities of the SDF at the nuclear power station?
First of all, we will partner with Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) to conduct thorough monitoring activities. I hope to develop response measures based on the data we collect.
You have instructed that 100,000 SDF personnel be mobilized for the disaster relief operations. How long will the SDF continue to operate on this scale?
Currently our force numbers more than 70,000. I believe that all 100,000 will soon begin their work. After that, I will start calling up reserve forces, including the ready reserve. This will only happen following the beginning of full operations by the SDF, and will require a Cabinet decision. We are making preparations for this.
(For the remainder of the press conference, please refer to the Japanese version.)
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