Press Conference

Extra Press Conference by the Defense Minister (03:40-03:43 P.M., April 6, 2012)

Extra Press Conference by the Defense Minister
Time & Date:03:40-03:43 P.M., April 6, 2012
Place: Air Defense Command headquarters
(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

Today, I have received a briefing on the command center from Commander Saito of the Air Defense Command, who is the supervisor of the unit. I have also received reports on the situation of the preparations toward this current issue concerning North Korea. I have a strong sense of assurance in hearing that they are working to be fully prepared for anything, and I have said that we must respond to this with vigilance. Also, I have had the opportunity to discuss and exchange opinions with Commander Field of the U.S. Forces in Japan. With the occurrence of this current situation, we found it necessary to maintain close coordination between Japan and the U.S through sharing information and exchanging opinions. We also received strong assurance for support on this, so I am glad that I was able to have the opportunity to introduce myself.

2. Questions and Answers

Regarding coordination, it says Bilateral Joint Operations Coordination Center at the bottom. Can you be more specific on what kind of coordination efforts are going to be conducted?

I have heard that Japan's headquarter will be located next to Yokota in April 26, thereby allowing for a more closer coordination, and it was said that further progress is being planned. We hope to make further efforts on this in the future.

It is now less than one week until the scheduled missile launch. Do you feel that the preparations are going smoothly?

I have received reports from the Commander that the deployments in the southwestern islands are almost complete at this point. Therefore, I have requested making sure to be fully prepared, and I have received confirmation that communications will continue to be maintained.

Do you feel any difference in the attitude in the response toward the missile launch by North Korea between the governments of Japan and the U.S.?

Today, I have felt that the U.S. side is passionately considering this issue as a joint coordination effort between Japan and the U.S. So I had no concerns related to such things.