Press Conference

Extra Press Conference by the Defense Minister Nakatani(12:38-12:44 P.M. November 20, 2015 (Japan time))

Press Conference by the Defense Minister
Time & Date: 12:38-12:44 P.M. November 20, 2015 (Japan time)
Place: In front of the Main Gate at ASC North
(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:
Could you give us your thoughts after the visit to shipbuilding yard of submarines?

Minister:
The building, sustainment, and maintenance of Collins-class submarines have been taken place at this facility. I had an opportunity to see the work processes on the site. The level was very high, and I believe that the cooperation with this company is essential to promote the future submarine cooperation in Australia. My impression on what I saw today is that they have immensely excellent capabilities of sustainment and management for shipbuilding. In detail, they built it from scratch about 30 years ago. Even though they received technical training on Collins-class from Sweden at the beginning, they now build it totally on their own. In addition, as manufacturers of original parts no longer exist today, they can precisely handle these kinds. I felt that they will adequately deal with processes of submarines in the future because engineers had extremely long years of experiences in human resources, knowledge, and skills. Another impression was that expertise in organization and company-related matters can be utilized in the project because they have managed nationwide supply chains of production, sustainment, and management and have supporting facilities in surrounding region. Also, they have taken exceedingly inventive approaches and made efforts to improve the productivity such as the reduction of man-hour and personnel. The director of the facility has been taken part in submarine project for 27 years. A plant of Mitsubishi Motors is located nearby. I learned that the Mitsubishi Motors' technology was transferred to this facility and the technology has contributed to improve the productivity. Hence, I came to recognize that if the submarine would be realized in Australia in the future, that kind of project could be possible to implement in cooperation with various local companies in wide range of fields.

Question:
You mentioned in the end moments ago that the selection process is currently under way among options of Japan, France, and Germany. In case Japan is selected, so-called three options will be proposed. Did you renew your sense that it is possible to carry out the building at this facility if Japan is selected?

Minister:
The building, sustainment, and maintenance of Collins-class submarines have already been taken place. Because they have accumulated technology of such kinds and have the supply chains of local companies, it is of course possible for those local companies to take part. Thus, I meant that it should be seriously examined as the option.

Question:
From the perspective of the local neighborhood, major concerns are effects in economy and employment in the local community. It means that to what extent the effects would be produced when Japan is selected and to what extent the effects would be produced when another country is selected. Could you share your views on these matters after your visit today?

Minister:
Prior to this visit, Premier Jay Weatherill of South Australia stated that he extremely welcomes our project as it contributes to entire improvement of the regional economy. I felt his active willingness to invite the project. I also paid the visit to a plant and saw expertise, and technology as well as particular skills seen only on this site in terms of submarines. These are extremely at high level.

Question:
Does it mean that the project can be implemented here when Japan is selected and it can be sufficiently expected that it leads to the economic effect in the local community?

Minister:
Japan intends to propose such options that the local firms could actively participate in.

Question:
During this visit, did you explain the economic effect and local employment?

Minister:
Here, I mainly learned technological aspect what they have been done up until now. I actually saw their work site and the like and got impression that they have considerably sophisticated skills.

Question:
Does it mean that they have technology as good as the Japan's submarine technology?

Minister:
It is Collins-class here. They have particular skills in their own way, and I meant that there are such distinctive experts in the company.

Question:
While visiting the facility, did Australian side show any expectation or refer anything regarding Japan's submarine selection?

Minister:
There was no conversation today in this regard. I had the opportunity to see the site where the work has been done at current point. I also had briefing on that.

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