Press Conference

Extra Press Conference by the Defense Minister Eto(07:30-07:34 P.M. October 16, 2014)

Press Conference by the Defense Minister
Time & Date: 07:30-07:34 P.M. October 16, 2014
Place: 1st floor lobby of Building A, Ministry of Defense (MOD)
(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
I just had the defense ministerial meeting with Australian Minister for Defence David Johnston for the first time since I took office. In the meeting, I discussed with Minister Johnston the ways of enhancing bilateral defense cooperation and deepening Japan-Australia special strategic partnership, and other various matters in line with the agreement reached at the Japan-Australia Summit Meeting in July this year. On this occasion, I directly provided Minister Johnston with explanations on the interim report on the revision of the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation which had been released last week, and Minister Johnston mentioned to the effect that the Australian side supports the revision of the Guidelines. The meeting was held in an extremely relaxed manner, and Minister Johnston sometimes spoke a few Japanese phrases. Therefore, I believe that we had a meeting in a cozy ambiance.

2. Questions and Answers

Question:
You just mentioned that you will deepen bilateral defense cooperation. What did you specifically agree on in the meeting regarding this matter?

Minister:
We agreed that we will actively make progress in future defense cooperation.

Question:
Research on marine hydrodynamics was mentioned in previous meetings. Did you see any progress regarding technical cooperation such as, for instance, submarines themselves?

Minister:
We agreed to continue our dialogue as to how to advance this matter.

Question:
Regarding the Guidelines, you stated that the Australian side supported the revision. What aspects of the Guidelines specifically did you two talk about?

Minister:
Building cooperative relationship between not only Japan and Australia but also trilateral and multilateral relations including Japan, Australia, and the U.S. will lead to stability of North East Asia. That is what we talked about.

Question:
You stated that discussion on how to advance technical cooperation will be continued. Japan and Australia signed the agreement at the Japan-Australia Summit Meeting in July on the joint development of defense equipment. I suppose that the future discussion will focus on what kind of cooperation the two sides can make. Will you consider the ways of moving technological cooperation forward including the joint development, bearing in mind cooperation in the area of submarines?

Minister:
I think that what kind of cooperation can be taken specifically will be thrashed out in future discussions.

Question:
I have a question related to the submarines. I assume that the joint development or joint research will be given due consideration hereafter, and that there should be merits to both sides. Could you tell us what kind of merit or demerit such cooperation in defense equipment will bring about?

Minister:
The most important point is that we will keep our dialogue. And through our dialogue, we will see a positive result if there are merits to both sides, and if that is not the case, our discussion will focus on how to promote further cooperation.

Question:
The disaster relief activities at Mt. Ontake were called off today. The activity for this year has been canceled with seven people still missing although the SDF has been earnestly engaging in the operations.

Minister:
As I just finished the meeting, I'm afraid I haven't been briefed on that yet. I will comment on that later when I know the details.

(End)

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