Press Conference

Press Conference by the Defense Minister (09:14-09:17 A.M. April 3, 2012)

Press Conference by the Defense Minister
Time & Date:09:14-09:17 A.M. April 3, 2012
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 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:
Regarding the F-35 that has been decided as the next mainstay fighter aircraft, the U.S. Department of Defense has indicated that the timing for the commencement of its mass production will be delayed for two years. How do you think this will affect the price and the delivery time of Japan's procurement plans?

Minister:
The Ministry of Defense (MOD) dispatched its staff to the U.S. from March 27 to April 1 and is currently receiving contacts from them. We are now engaged in a lively debate to negotiate and exact an assurance of the delivery date and the price that had been proposed. The MOD will continue its efforts to negotiate with the U.S. to stick to the original plan. With regard to the report document, the MOD is currently verifying the content.

Question:
I believe that the PAC-3 is scheduled to arrive in Okinawa today. Please tell us of the response you intend to take after this.

Minister:
Concerning deployment, we are currently negotiating with the various regions, and the preparations are progressing smoothly for now. Also, we would like to maintain close coordination with the members of Okinawa prefecture and the related cities concerning the situation of the preparations.

Question:
In today's cabinet meeting, I believe that a reduction in the hiring of new personnel for the next fiscal year has been decided. What is the MOD's take on this situation?

Minister:
We have been negotiating this, and the MOD has come to accept a 55% reduction. The situation being that each Ministry has given their acceptance in today's cabinet meeting, and since this is a decision that has been fleshed out through numerous negotiations, I have come to accept it as well.

Question:
While the PAC-3 is being deployed in Okinawa, no decision has been given on the issue regarding the lecture given by Director-General Manabe. What are you going to do with regard to this?

Minister:
There is no mistake in that a decision will be given. We are currently continuing the investigation process. However, there are some issues related to the Personal Information Protection Law, and our staff is currently working out the legal issues. Therefore, I would like to have your understanding that we are currently continuing the investigation on this.

(End)

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