Press Conference

Press Conference by the Defense Minister(10:24-10:28 A.M. September 14, 2010)

Press Conference by the Defense Minister (Doorstepping)
Time & Date: 10:24-10:28 A.M. September 14, 2010
Place: Entrance of the Prime Minister's Office
(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 purposes only)
The original text is in Japanese.

1. Announcements


2. Questions and Answers

The day of the presidential election for the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) is finally here. I would like to ask once again what you expect from a new president.

I think the most important thing is that a new president should draw the DPJ together as one. After that, I want the new president to take up economic issues in an easy-to-understand way, and in a manner that stays with the people.

What do you expect from the president in terms of national security, including with regard to the Japan-U.S. relationship, which you preside over ?

I think that it is fundamental for both Japan and the U.S. to unfailingly carry out bilateral agreements. Meanwhile, I assume what you really want to know is something like our response to such a matter as the result of the municipal election for Nago City in Okinawa. That being the case, I think that it is a rudimentary form of politics to carefully consider and accurately explain domestic political situations with mutual understanding. When it comes to foreign affairs and security issues, I don't think there is anything about which particularly heated discussion is occurring within the party right now.

It seems that you have exchanged views on the formulation of the National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG) at today's Security Council meeting. Could you tell us a little about that?

That is a matter that the Chief Cabinet Secretary has been in charge of. So, he will explain about that at a press conference in the future. If I had to, I'd say today's meeting is a kick-off. We agreed on the schedule today.

In relation to Futenma, the possibility has arisen that V-22 Ospreys might be deployed to the replacement facility. If this happens, will the environmental impact assessment of the replacement facility that is currently underway be started all over again? Or how far would this set the relocation process back?

The V-22 Osprey issue has been up in the air for a long time. There has been no official message from the U.S. side that Ospreys will be deployed to Okinawa. But we have discussed this at the working-level on the assumption of such a deployment taking place. Accordingly, the fact is that we have not yet gone as far as discussing about what to do with the environmental impact assessment.

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