Press Conference by the Defense Minister(09:53-09:56 A.M. May 15, 2012)
- Press Conference by the Defense Minister
Time & Date 09:53-09:56 A.M. May 15, 2012
Place: Entrance of the Prime Minister's Office(This is a provisional translation of an announcement by the Defense Minister and the Q&A session at the subsequent press conference for reference purposes only)
The original text is in Japanese.
2. Questions and Answers
Regarding the Osprey, there have been certain press reports claiming that it is going to be brought into Futenma Air Station in late July. How are you currently explaining things such as the timing of the introduction by the U.S. side, its safety and of the accident in Morocco?
First, regarding the accident in Morocco, I have conducted a telephone conference with Defense Secretary Panetta, who promised to provide details on this, so I think the reports will be coming in sequentially. Regarding the timing, it is said that this is being considered within the U.S. government, so I am aware that a final decision on this has not been made for now.
Regarding the procurement price for the F-35, there are press reports saying that the governments of both Japan and the U.S. are making adjustments at just over \10 billion. Do you think that a certain amount of price increase is going to be tolerated?
The representatives of both sides are currently finalizing the details with the aim to come to an agreement and to conclude the contract by late June. Since we are finalizing the details on the context of strictly adhering to the content of the original proposal, I think that we will be able to conclude the contract within the budget. With regard to the budget, we have the budget for each aircraft, and a budget for its components and such. With this in mind, we are currently proceeding to conclude the contract within the given budget.
Today marks the 40th anniversary of Okinawa's return to the mainland. Currently, there is the situation where the relocation process of Futenma Air Station has effectively stalled since the DPJ became the ruling party. Please tell us again how you intend to make progress on this issue.
In the latest Japan-U.S. consultations, we made efforts to make specific progress on reducing Okinawa's burden and in the return of bases and have come to an agreement on this. My first priority is to make progress on reducing Okinawa's burden, and I feel that this is where we need to put our efforts. In this process, we will be looking for the chance to come to a solution on relocating Futenma Air Station, one of the world's most dangerous air stations, and I am hoping to be able to talk in detail with the Governor and the people of Okinawa prefecture.
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