Press Conference

Press Conference by the Defense Minister (11:06-11:12 A.M. January 27, 2009)

Press Conference by the Defense Minister (Doorstepping)
Time & Date: 11:06-11:12 A.M. January 27, 2009
Place:Press Conference Room, Ministry of Defense (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 purpose only)
The original full text is in Japanese.

1. Announcements


2. Questions and Answers

This evening, the ruling parties are expected to make a request to the Prime Minister for anti-piracy measures by maritime security operations. How do you plan to instruct preparations in response to it?

The ruling parties' project team has been earnestly discussing anti-piracy measures by the SDF. I am aware that this issue is being discussed at the Policy Research Councils, the General Affairs Council and the General Coordination Committee at the ruling parties. Although I am considering future steps, I would like to proceed with our review on key points in consideration of the views of the ruling parties to respond to this issue appropriately.

For issues related to the Futenma Air Station, the working teams will hold their meetings today. However, no meeting has been held by the higher organization, the Futenma Council of the Prime Minister's Office, in the past six months. Against this backdrop, Foreign Minister Nakasone is seeking to break the deadlock by visiting Okinawa during the upcoming weekend. What do you think about breakthrough efforts for the Futenma issue, including your own visit to Okinawa?

I believe we must definitely realize the relocation of the Futenma Air Station and return of the land to the local residents, in order to decrease the burdens currently imposed on the people of Okinawa Prefecture. I am further convinced that the alternative facilities for Futenma Air Station can secure an adequate balance in terms of the living and natural environment, and feasibility. In the process of the environmental assessment, we would like to collect and evaluate objective data, thoroughly explain them to the local people and sincerely consult with them after receiving their opinions. I would like to realize my visit to Okinawa by all means, upon the adjustment with the schedule of the Diet.