Extra Press Conference by the Defense Minister(01:24-01:27 P.M. July 30, 2012)
- Extra Press Conference by the Defense Minister
Time & Date 01:24-01:27 P.M. July 30, 2012
Place: In front of the Cabinet Meeting Room in the House(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
Please give us of your impression on finishing the initial inspection of the GSDF.
This is my first visit to the 1st Division, which is said to be the elite force in charge of defending and guarding our capital city. This division is a unit rich in history and tradition, and I feel truly assured in being able to meet in person with the 1,000-strong members who are defending our capital, and in seeing the unit with high morale under the exceptional leadership from the division commander and below.
It has taken two months since your assumption of office to conduct your initial inspection. How do you feel about this?
Since being a Minister without any particular achievements, I had a lot of work to do in the so-called legislative body -- the Diet -- and as a member of the cabinet. This has taken a considerable part of my energy and time, so although I wanted to go and visit the units from the onset, my desire has taken a back seat up to now. It has taken some time, but I would like to go and inspect the units proactively, from the ASDF and the GSDF, as I have done on this occasion.
The external body of the Department of Defense has issued a report regarding the relocation of Futenma Air Station, which stated that although the Henoko plan is by far the best option, there may also be a possibility for a second runway in Okinawa (Naha Airport) or for Iejima. What are your thoughts on this?
I am aware that such a report was submitted to the legislature. Since I have been with this unit from the morning for today, I have not yet seen the details. I hope to make a comment on this after I have seen the content, but I have yet to see this as a whole.
The 1st Division here has been conducting ranger training and communication training using urban areas over the last few months. What kind of things do you feel that the 1st Division should improve or strengthen in the future?
This time, the 1st Division has been visiting various places within Tokyo City and the 23 wards in their communication training and such, and I feel that very good coordination has been established. Also, to conduct these various training exercises with the local communities in anticipation of a disaster situation is an important issue for both the SDF and the municipalities, so I feel that we need to further strengthen such coordination for the future.
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