Press Conference

Press Conference by the Defense Minister (09:37-09:40 A.M. January 30, 2009)

Press Conference by the Defense Minister (Doorstepping)
Time & Date: 9:37-9:40 A.M. January 30, 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 the Q&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:
Please tell us the current status of the preparation for measures against piracy at the MOD, including the expected timing to start a field investigation.

Minister:
The review is still underway about the investigation, and I have not yet been reported about any specific matters. I issued the order for the preparation only a few days ago. I believe the responsible offices are now reviewing the matters, including the timing of the investigation.

Question:
Some media have reported the MOD would dispatch an investigation team to Somalia’s neighboring countries as early as next week.

Minister:
I have not yet heard of it.

Question:
The ruling parties are currently deliberating a new law for anti-piracy measures. Some people insist that in order to ensure sufficient fulfillment of the mission, the rules of engagement should be in some sense eased beyond the scope of the Law concerning the Execution of Duties of Police Officers. What do you think of this view?

Minister:
Basically we will have to consider a variety of objects for protection. As we deliberate on the new law, we should discuss every possibility as a matter of course if we would like to solve the problems which can not be addressed by maritime security operations, which have been pointed out by many people.

Question:
Do you mean that some types of the use of weapons that are currently banned should be permitted if they are required to fulfill duties?

Minister:
I believe this issue should be discussed if it is possible to include it in the review, in consideration of the safety of SDF personnel and various other aspects.

Question:
Do you intend to appeal for this point to the ruling parties’ members?

Minister:
In the discussions for maritime security operations, we have been facing the issue of the inability to use weapons. As we advanced our discussions, we touched on the theme of the use of weapons to fulfill duties. I would naturally like this theme to be further discussed.

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

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