Press Conference

Press Conference by the Defense Minister (09:18-09:21 A.M. December 16, 2008)

Press Conference by the Defense Minister (Doorstepping)
Time & Date: 9:18 - 9:21 A.M. December 16, 2008
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 abstract of the Q&A session at the subsequent press conference for reference purpose only)
The original full text is in Japanese.

1. Announcements

I would like to announce the bilateral defense ministers’ meeting and the second Joint Foreign and Defense Ministerial Consultations or “two-plus-two” between Japan and Australia that will be held in Tokyo on Thursday, December 18. At a time when security issues are being increasingly complicated and globalized, I consider it important for Japan and Australia to advance bilateral relations for peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region and areas beyond it, aiming at the enhancement of specific cooperation such as that for international peace cooperation activities. At the upcoming talks, it is planned to revise the Memorandum on Japan-Australia Defense Exchanges compiled in 2003, aiming toward the promotion of bilateral cooperation in international peace cooperation activities and other goals. Through these efforts, I would like to further strengthen security and defense cooperation between the two countries.

2. Questions and Answers

As for the “two-plus-two” that you have just referred to, what do you think are its main agenda and significant points?

I would like to revise the Memorandum and candidly discuss issues such as enhancement of various cooperative relations in the Pacific region.

This morning, members of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the House of Councilors are scheduled to inspect the Joint Staff College. What do you expect from their inspection?

I hope that they will observe the College as it is and make candid judgments on it.

In the afternoon, the committee is going into deliberations.

I would like to make any answer I can make to questions they might have concerning their inspection.

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