Press Conferences

Press Conference by Defense Minister Inada (08:42-08:46 A.M. January 31, 2017)

Press Conference by the Defense Minister
Time & Date: 08:42-08:46 A.M. January 31, 2017
Place: 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:
U.S. Secretary of Defense Mattis will visit Japan from February 3. Could you tell me the current status of the scheduling arrangements for the Japan-U.S. defense ministerial meeting? Also, Department of Defense’s spokesperson Davis indicated the view that Secretary Mattis will not request an increase in expenditures for the stationing of the U.S. Forces in Japan during his visit to Japan. Could you share your comments on that?

Minister:
It is very significant that Secretary Mattis will come to Japan at an early time and that we will have an opportunity to engage in a frank exchange of opinions in order to share the recognition of various challenges for the Japan-U.S. Alliance and the environment surrounding Japan. A specific schedule for the meeting is being arranged now. We should not have prejudgment about what issues he or I will raise in the meeting, but I am looking forward to talking about Japan’s position and engaging in a frank exchange of opinions.

Question:
In preparation for the summit meeting on February 10, do you have an intention to raise the issue of an increase in the expenditures?

Minister:
I have no prejudgment about specifically what issues will be discussed.

Question:
Yesterday, an ASDF fighter was stuck on the runway at Naha Airport. Could you share your comments on that? Also, if there are requests for compensation payment from users or airlines, how will the MOD respond?

Minister:
It is very regrettable that an incident that affected users of civilian aircraft has occurred. We will appropriately examine the cause and take recurrence prevention measures in order to prevent incidents like this in the future. I understand that refunds to users will be paid based on airlines’ prescribed rules. If the MOD receives a request for compensation payment from users or civil airlines, we will make an appropriate response based on relevant laws and regulations. In past cases like this, no request for compensation payment was made. However, if a request is made, we will make a response based on relevant laws and regulations.

Question:
Does that mean it is possible that the MOD will meet such a request based on laws and regulations?

Minister:
Although I assume that the State Redress Act is applicable in this case, the cause of the accident remains. Of course, as Japan is a law-governed country, we will make a response based on laws and regulations.

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