Press Conference

Press Conference by the Defense Minister (08:43-08:47 A.M. January 9, 2009)

Press Conference by the Defense Minister (Doorstepping)
Time & Date: 08:43-08:47 A.M. January 9, 2009
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 theQ&A session at the subsequent press conference for reference purpose only)
The original full text is in Japanese.

1. Announcements

None

2. Questions and Answers

Question:
The ruling parties will launch today a project team on countermeasures for piracy. What discussions do you expect the team to develop?

Minister:
Given that the SDF need a legal basis for their activities, I expect the team to discuss what the SDF can do and what conditions would allow dispatches of the SDF.

Question:
At the meeting of policymakers of the ruling parties and other occasions, opinions were expressed that the Government should lay out possible operations of the current legislation. Is the Government making any concrete plans for SDF dispatches for maritime security operations?

Minister:
We are currently reviewing various factors including potential situations which could be addressed by maritime security operations and those that could not. Maritime security operations under the current legislation are an alternative which the government is considering. However, if the project team find that maritime security operations are insufficient, the team would probably consider establishing a new law. I think it is highly important for the ruling parties to discuss this issue from a broad perspective. We hope that the project team will discuss both what can be done through government decisions and what cannot be done through them.

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

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