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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday, March 19, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER: I have a question regarding North Korea's announcement to launch a satellite. Minister of Defense Naoki Tanaka has said that, as some brainstorming, his ministry is considering making preparations to defend against the launch using the missile defense (MD) system. At this present stage, what are the Government's views on the satellite's trajectory and the Government's response measures?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: Based on the scope of what has been announced so far, I believe one of the questions being asked is whether the flight path of the satellite will pass over Okinawa. On March 16, the Minister of Defense instructed the Self-Defense Forces to coordinate closely with the United States and other countries and to take all necessary measures to gather information and undertake monitoring and surveillance operations. The monitoring and surveillance operations are continuing to be reinforced. With regard to the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC3) system and Aegis ships, which I believe you were referring to a moment ago, my understanding currently is that the ministry is considering their deployment as required, if it is deemed necessary based on specific situations and our experience in 2009.

REPORTER: Just to confirm, the ministry is now at the stage of making considerations in order to make the necessary decision. Has any timetable been set yet? Do you know what steps it will be taking?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: These are details that I would like you to ask the Ministry of Defense. My understanding right now is that the ministry is making considerations.


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