Press Conference

Press Conference by the Defense Minister(8:35-8:39 A.M., August 28, 2012)

Press Conference by the Defense Minister
Time & Date 8:35-8:39 A.M., August 28, 2012
Place: Entrance of the Prime Minister’s Office
(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:
The analysis of the investigation results that had been conducted by the Ministry of Defense (MOD) has now been compiled, and it has also been reported to the Prime Minister. Regarding the content of the report, it mentions that human-related cause is the major factor and that the actual structure of the airframe of the Osprey itself cannot be considered as being the cause of the accident, which more or less follows what was given in the investigation results provided by the U.S. side. How do you evaluate this analysis result?

Minister:
We are currently working out our plan to give a proper explanation on the investigation results and our analysis results from the person in charge of our Ministry this evening. So please allow us some more time until then. I believe this will be for this evening.

Question:
Is that content something that you are satisfied with, or that the Government of Japan has found as being acceptable?

Minister:
I will explain everything on said occasion.

Question:
You will be visiting Okinawa and Yamaguchi from tomorrow. Explaining the content of this report document is also going to be important, but do you think you will be able to gain the understanding of the local communities? In your last visit, you mentioned that you were “not confident.” How is it this time?

Minister:
There will be the need to give a careful explanation on how we have analyzed the investigation report for this accident in Morocco. In order to do this, I feel that the proper way to do this is to meet in person with the Governors of both prefectures and to personally give an explanation. Thus, as I have been mentioning to everyone from earlier, I will be taking the flight tomorrow to visit Okinawa first, and then to Yamaguchi. That is my current plan on this.

Question:
Regarding the chief executives in the local communities, do you have any confidence in convincing them?

Minister:
With regard to the Governor of Yamaguchi prefecture, this is going to be my first meeting with him since his assumption of office, so I have no idea what his reaction is going to be. For the Governor of Okinawa, we have been meeting continually in various places, and although I feel that it is going to be tough to obtain his consent, there is no other way to do this other than by giving a careful explanation.

Question:
It has been announced in certain press reports that the budget appropriations for the introduction of amphibious vehicles have been decided. With the issue of the defense of the remote islands garnering increasing attention, what kind of measures and policies are the GSDF and other branches of the SDF intending to pursue in the future?

Minister:
We are currently working on the budget request process for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. In this, for reference purposes, we are planning on purchasing an amphibious vehicle that will be required for island defense. Other than that, we are also considering extending the service life of our submarines in order to strengthen our submarine fleet, and to establish a new specialized unit for cyber (activities). Moreover, there was the case related to North Korea, so introduction of airborne UAVs is also being considered. These are some of the things that will form the pillar of our budget request for FY 2013. I can’t give the details on this yet, but we are moving on with our plan to introduce practically all the equipment systems in line with our National Defense Program Guidelines and Mid-Term Defense Program.

(End)

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