Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  February 2012 >  Thursday, February 16, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, February 16, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER: I would like to ask a question regarding the Iranian situation. The Government of Iran has announced the reinforcement of Iran's nuclear enrichment facility. What are the thoughts of the Japanese Government and what will be its response moving forward?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: It does not mean anything has changed. Iran's uranium enrichment activities violate United Nations (UN) Security Council resolutions, and we have grave concern over the expansion and development of nuclear activities by Iran, including its breach of UN resolutions. Japan will work together with the international community to urge Iran toward a peaceful and diplomatic solution of the issue while applying diplomatic pressure on Iran. It does not mean anything has changed.

REPORTER: The Prime Minister has also stated during the meeting of the Budget Committee on February 10 that the Strait of Hormuz is important to Japan and that it needs to anticipate and prepare for anything that may happen. Is the Government considering any specific operations going forward, for instance, dispatching the Self-Defense Forces (SDF)?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Above all, as I said a moment ago, we would like to see a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the situation surrounding the Iranian nuclear issue. This is something that the Japanese Government as a whole must endeavor in cooperation with the international community. My understanding is that at this stage we are not in a situation that requires the SDF to take some sort of response as you mentioned earlier. If such a need were to arise, the Government's stance is that it will respond appropriately bearing in mind the different situations.


REPORTER: I would like to ask one other question with regard to Iran. You mentioned that at this stage the Government is not considering the dispatch of the SDF and so forth in particular. However, could you explain the Government's legal position or its position on whether it is legally possible under the Self-Defense Forces Act to dispatch tanker guards and minesweepers to a blocked strait?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Since nothing specific has been considered, I believe I should refrain from answering each and every question right now. You mentioned just mines, correct?

REPORTER: Mines, and if possible, if I may ask about your position on tanker guards under the Self-Defense Forces Act.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: That is something you should inquire about with the Ministry of Defense (MOD). However, if I can comment on just the mines, with regard to minesweeping, in general, if the mines have been abandoned and so on, from the standpoint of ensuring the safety of Japanese vessels, the SDF are permitted to remove the mines pursuant to Article 84-2 of the Self-Defense Forces Act. This has been the existing judgment or position regarding minesweeping. However, I believe there is much more to this so I would appreciate it if you could please direct your questions to the MOD.



Page Top

Related Link