Press Conference

Press Conference by the Defense Minister Eto(08:15-08:17 A.M. October 31, 2014)

Press Conference by the Defense Minister
Time & Date: 08:15-08:17 A.M. October 31, 2014
Place: Entrance to 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 Okinawa gubernatorial election was announced yesterday. One of the election issues is the one related to relocation of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. I would like to ask you if there is any possibility that the Ministry of Defense would change its ongoing policy depending on the election result.

Minister:
I, as a Cabinet member, would like to refrain from answering that question regarding the election. I also withhold comments on how the MOD will deal with the issue since it is a hypothetical question.

Question:
Regarding the revision of the Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation, have you changed your recognition on time schedule since you last stated at the press conference one month ago that the revision will be completed by the yearend?

Minister:
We are currently making our utmost efforts on the revision.

Question:
So you have not changed your recognition.

Minister:
I expect that the revision will be completed on schedule as long as possible.

Question:
At the budget committee of the House of Representatives yesterday, quite a few questions were asked on the money-and-politics problems, which concern not only the ruling coalition and Cabinet members, but also opposition parties. And this issue has become the center of argument. What are your thoughts on this situation?

Minister:
From the viewpoint of maximizing the effect of Abenomics and especially of vitalizing local economy, regional revitalization needs to be further promoted. I hope that a further discussion will be carried out on such issues.

Question:
I have a question related to that. Discussions on defense policies are not proceeding much as many questions focus on the money-and-politics problems, and I imagine that you have been questioned on them against your will. Given such circumstances, there seems to be a concern among the ruling coalition that a sound discussion on security legislation may not be carried out in the future ordinary Diet session. What is your view on this?

Minister:
We will take proper measures to deal with it while thoroughly fulfilling accountability.

(End)

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