Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  December 2012 >  Wednesday, December 19, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The realignment of U.S. forces in Japan
  • The U.S.'s plan to deploy F-35 stealth fighters to Iwakuni


REPORTER: I would like to ask a question in relation to the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan. The U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services and the U.S. House Committee on Armed Services agreed that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is to allocate funding for a portion of the costs required to relocate the U.S. Marines stationed in Okinawa to Guam. I understand that this means that the U.S. will allocate funding to the relocation of troops for the first time in two years. What impact do you think this will have on the realignment of U.S. forces?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SHIBA: I assume your question concerns the impact on the realignment of U.S. forces. Let me first establish the facts of the situation. The NDAA for Fiscal Year 2013 is a bill voted on by both Houses of Congress and until now has been drafted separately by the Senate and the House of Representatives. I have been informed that arrangements for reaching a consensus on the passing of the bill have now been completed and it is expected that it will be passed sometime soon. However, the content and details have not yet been released, therefore, for now the Government will keep an eye on the development of discussions in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. The Government believes that steadily implementing the relocation of U.S. forces to Guam as per the Japan-U.S. agreement is the most effective measure to swiftly reduce the burden placed on Okinawa. Therefore, the Government has always urged the U.S. to ensure the allocation of an appropriate budget, and after the recent developments in the U.S. Congress, we are strongly expecting a positive result. Therefore, moving forward, the Japanese Government anticipates that the U.S. will contribute to reducing the burden placed on Okinawa.

REPORTER: It seems that U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has announced an F-35 stealth fighter deployment at Iwakuni Base in Yamaguchi Prefecture. Has the Japanese Government been informed of this decision?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SHIBA: As of now the Japanese Government does not have any detailed information concerning the F-35 deployment at Iwakuni Base. If this is truly the case, the Government would like to work in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense to establish the facts.

REPORTER: If the F-35 deployment is to take place, how is the Government planning to proceed with regard to communicating with the local people and gaining their understanding?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SHIBA: As I just said, neither the Japanese Government, nor the Ministry of Defense has been officially informed of this decision by the U.S. Government. Therefore, I am reluctant to make a comment on a hypothetical situation and the first thing we would like to do is to establish the facts.

Page Top

Related Link