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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, February 16, 2012 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER: I have a question related to the realignment of the United States (U.S.) forces. Today, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta indicated at a hearing of the Armed Services Committee of the House of Representatives in the U.S. that with respect to the review of the Guam relocation, he foresees that the funding contributions of the Government of Japan will not be reduced. What are the thoughts of the Japanese Government regarding this matter?


REPORTER: In the transcript, the Japanese Government is referred to as "they." It says "they have been very generous."

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: We need the exchanges that came before that, do we not? Let me read out what came before that. The Committee asks something to the effect of, "Will this (the review of the Guam relocation) lead to a reduction in the Japanese funding commitment for the Guam relocation?" Then Defense Minister Panetta responds, "That's one of the things that we're discussing." And then he goes on to discuss the construction of the Futenma replacement facility and so on, and then he makes the statement that you noted a moment ago. I believe you have the statements mixed around. Following from this, it is first of all not clear whether the reports are even true or not. The Japan-U.S. discussions on the realignment of the U.S. forces in Japan have just begun, and this was also stated by Mr. Panetta. Therefore, at this moment in time, there is no truth to the fact that Japan has made any sort of funding commitment.

REPORTER: Is the Japanese Government's understanding that Defense Secretary Panetta's statements today were made in reference to Futenma?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Based on a literal reading of this transcript, that would be my understanding.


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