Press Conferences

Press Conference by Defense Minister Inada (08:25-08:29 A.M. November 25, 2016)

Press Conference by the Defense Minister
Time & Date: 08:25-08:29 A.M. November 25, 2016
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:
In relation to the introduction of THAAD, I hear that a committee to consider this matter will be convened within the MOD. Could you tell me about the progress status?

Minister:
Concerning the threat of ballistic missiles, it is important to develop Japan's own BMD system and to strive to enhance the deterrence and response capabilities based on the Japan-U.S. Alliance. As for the development of the BMD system, we are conducting various activities, including surveys and research on a future ballistic missile interception system. There is no concrete plan for introducing THAAD, but I expect that introducing new assets like this will lead to the enhancement of our own specific capabilities. We are considering what the MOD/SDF can do, but for the moment, I would like to refrain from commenting on the details.

Question:
There has been a media report that Chief of Staff Takei of the MSDF will be disciplined soon in connection with the next-generation multi-purpose helicopter. Could you share the facts?

Minister:
At the moment, the Inspector General's Office of legal compliance is conducting a special defense inspection, so I would like to refrain from commenting on the specifics related to the inspection.

Question:
The other day, GSOMIA with the Republic of Korea (ROK) was signed and took effect immediately. Could you explain its significance?

Minister:
Since the beginning of this year, North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests and launched more than 20 missiles, so the threat has grown considerably. In this situation, cooperation between Japan and the ROK is very important. The signing of GSOMIA has long been a pending matter. I am expecting that information exchanged between the governments of Japan and the ROK will be appropriately protected and more smooth and prompt information exchange between the two governments will be facilitated.

Question:
In relation to North Korea, next month will be the anniversary of Chairman Kim Jong-un's assumption of his post, so it is said that the threat may be ratcheted up again and the possibility of acts of provocations may rise. Could you share your comments on signs and the possibility of such a situation arising in the future?

Minister:
We are constantly devoting efforts to information gathering and surveillance with a sense of alertness, including with respect to the point you mentioned just now.

Question:
Concerning the disciplining of the Chief of Staff of the MSDF, as his term of office is about to expire, will his disciplining be in effect a demotion?

Minister:
Nothing has been decided with respect to the disciplining and the inspection is now ongoing, so I would like to refrain from commenting on matters like that.

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