Friday, August 3, 2012 (PM)
Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)
- Press reports on the ROK's plan to conduct a military drill near Takeshima
- The deployment of Osprey aircraft to Okinawa
REPORTER: The Republic of Korea (ROK) has announced that it will conduct a military drill near Takeshima on August 13. According to ITAR-TASS news agency, the ROK's Ministry of National Defense revealed that the drill will be conducted based on Japan's emphasis of territorial sovereignty over Takeshima. Does the Japanese Government plan to lodge protests to the ROK Government or have any other such plans in response to this?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I have been briefed of the plans (about the military drill). I have also been informed of the information that some kind of workshop will be conducted. In any case, if this information is true, then Japan cannot accept it, and Japan is already lodging representations to the ROK Government through a variety of channels.
REPORTER: This weekend, in Okinawa, the residents are scheduled to hold a rally concerning the Osprey aircraft. The rally is expected to have quite a large turnout. Can you once again explain how the administration intends to seek the understanding of the Okinawan people?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: With regard to the Osprey aircraft, we are fully aware that this is causing much concern to not only the people of Okinawa, but also to everyone. With that, Japan is requesting the United States (U.S.) to present at an early date the results of the investigations into the accidents or information pertaining to the safety, etc. of the Osprey aircraft. The Japanese and U.S. Governments share the recognition that the U.S. will not conduct any flight operations of the Osprey aircraft in Japan until the results of the investigations are presented to the Japanese Government and the safety of flight operations is thoroughly reconfirmed. When the results of the investigations are obtained, an analysis evaluation team set up within the Ministry of Defense will take the lead, as the whole Government, including experts, thoroughly confirms the results and offers a careful explanation to the local people and others. Every effort will be made to obtain their understanding. In this regard, this morning, Minister of Defense Satoshi Morimoto left for the U.S. to collect various information and to firmly convey Japan's opinions.