Press Conference

Extra Press Conference by the Defense Minister Nakatani(08:09-08:16 P.M. November 3, 2015(Japan time))

Press Conference by the Defense Minister
Time & Date: 08:09-08:16 P.M. November 3, 2015(Japan time)
Place: BLOCK 3, First floor of the Saujana Hotel Kuala Lumpur
(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.Announcement
None.

2.Questions and Answers

Question:
You had meetings with ASEAN countries and India respectively. Would you share your view on them?

Minister:
First of all, I will talk about the Philippines. I had opportunities to have a meeting with Defense Minister Gazmin three times this year alone. In particular, we exchanged views on situation in the South China Sea. As two lighthouses were built this year, we had opinion exchanges on this. Recently, the arbitral proceedings by the Philippines under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea were commenced in The Hague. With regard to this, Japan supports the use of the arbitral proceedings. Japan believes that aiming at peaceful settlement of disputes on the basis of international law contributes to the maintenance and enhancement of the international order in the region based on the rule of law. In addition, we agreed to actively promote cooperation going forward, such as maritime joint training, HA/DR, and capacity building assistance for disaster relief and humanitarian field, while welcoming development in defense cooperation and exchanges between Japan and the Philippines. We also confirmed to accelerate consultations at working-level in order to seek concrete cooperation case for defense equipment and technology cooperation. It was the first defense ministerial meeting with Laos in two years since ADMM-Plus held in August 2013. I expressed my expectation for a great success of Defense Minister Sengnuan who will be a chair of ADMM next year. I told him that Japan would like to have the maximum cooperation by pointing out the importance of relationship between Japan and ASEAN countries. Laos and Japan have co-chaired the ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief. Minister Sengnuan made a request to Japan to continue serving as the chair. We agreed to continue collaborating and enhancing defense cooperation and exchanges between Japan and Laos toward success of this conference. I have one more topic. This was the second meeting with Defence Minister Parrikar of India this year. At the beginning, I extended my gratitude for participation in Malabar as well as in the Fleet Review. India will hold the Fleet Review next year, and I expressed my appreciation for the invitation extended to the MSDF. Moreover, I asked for intermittent invitations to exercises and joint training. In terms of defense technology, we reached an agreement to enhance bilateral defense relationship through initiatives and exchanges, such as US-2, which talks on cooperation have taken place between the governments. This is all.

Question:
Did the matter of the South China Sea come up during your meeting with Defence Minister Parrikar of India?

Minister:
We did not have a talk on that.

Question:
You did not mention the matter of the South China Sea during the meeting with Defence Minister Parrikar. Are there any matters?

Minister:
Other than that, we had talks on defense exchanges, and the dinner was coming up. Therefore, we focused on matters related to US-2.

Question:
Between India, today, between the United States as well, I believe that will be a trilateral matter between Japan, the United States, and India. Did you have a talk on that matter during the Japan-India bilateral meeting?

Minister:
As the training between Japan, the United States, and India was conducted in the Malabar, I stated that Japan would like to make an effort to enhance cooperation of a trilateral relationship between Japan, the United States, and India in the future.

Question:
How about the Philippines?

Minister:
It is the same with the Philippines to have trilateral cooperative relationship, and I stated that we would proceed with actively implementing initiatives such as technology cooperation and joint training.

Question:
Did you have a conversation on joint training and prospects in details?

Minister:
We talked that first of all the three counties would deepen cooperation through high-level exchanges such as trilateral summit meetings, personnel exchanges, and also joint training as one part of those exchanges.

Question:
I understand that you talked about maritime joint training with the Philippines. Would you share with us what kind of training it will be in particular?

Minister:
There was no concrete talk on it today.

Question:
Was there any progress on US-2?

Minister:
First, we have had talks since last year, and personnel from the Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency (ATLA) was temporally transferred to the department in charge of defense in India, which is the Defence Research & Development Orgnanisation (DRDO). In light of personnel dispatch from ATLA, we will have discussions on defense equipment and technology cooperation on US-2 and others. I said that personnel was temporally transferred, but it officially means that we will dispatch personnel of ATLA.

Question:
Did the Philippine side state anything about the U.S. vessel at this time?

Minister:
The Philippine side did not raise that matter.

Question:
Did you raise that matter?

Minister:
I stated that actions taken by the U.S. is in line with international law and Japan supports them from standpoint of such international law.

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