Press Conference

Press Conference by the Defense Minister(09:43-09:49 A.M. September 28, 2010)

Press Conference by the Defense Minister (Doorstepping)
Time & Date: 09:43-09:49 A.M. September 28, 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

None.

2. Questions and Answers

Question:
In light of the series of events that followed the incident where a Chinese fishing boat collided with a vessel of the Japan Coast Guard (JCG), how do you feel about the release of the captain and Japan's responses so far?

Minister:
It is extremely regrettable that the collision incident occurred. The captain was released based on the law, and we must approach this issue carefully so as not to aggravate the bilateral relationship any further, since the two countries are extremely important partners for one another.

Question:
In relation to this, Chief Cabinet Secretary Sengoku said, "The problem is now in China's court," and "Japan will demand an apology from the Chinese side for colliding with a JCG vessel." I also heard that Prime Minister Kan will have a summit meeting with China. Were there any discussions during today's Cabinet meeting or informal ministerial meeting about responses to be taken by the Government of Japan?

Minister:
It is a custom not to reveal the content of discussions at Cabinet meetings and informal ministerial meetings, so I would refrain from talking about it. Since both sides have put their request on the table - from the Chinese side, an apology and compensation, and from the Japanese side, the repair costs -- we should swiftly bring about a groundswell of sentiment for the two countries to talk on an equal footing in order not to escalate the issue any further.

Question:
Do you have any concrete measures to be taken in mind as the Minister of Defense?

Minister:
I think the competent ministers or the Chief Cabinet Secretary should lead the process. I believe that the venue for interministerial consultation should be established under the Chief Cabinet Secretary, if possible, and we should make out a unified stance and strategy on this issue through consultations as such.

Question:
Yesterday, some Diet members of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) expressed various opinions, and some of them proposed that Japan should station a JSDF unit in the Senkaku Islands. Regarding this, youEc.

Minister:
I am not aware of such a proposal.

Question:
I heard that Diet member Mr. Matsubara made this comment.

Minister:
I think each individual may have his/her own opinion. As Diet members elected by the people, they might well have some proposals on how to restore the Japan-China relationship back to normal status in line with the mutually beneficial relationship based on common strategic interests. But I fail to see the wisdom of fostering some sentiments by making such a negative argument that would aggravate the relationship.

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

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