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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The issues related to the U.S. defense plan review

REPORTER: I would like to ask a question concerning the U.S. defense plan review, the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). The QDR sets out that the U.S. will reduce the size of its military, and place greater emphasis on the Air Force and the Marine Corps. It also states that the U.S. will strengthen the Marine Corps in Asia and take other such measures, with countries such as China in mind. Firstly, could you share your thoughts with us?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The U.S. Department of Defense announced its second QDR since the inauguration of President Obama. While the overall defense budget will be reduced, the U.S. will maintain its policy of rebalancing toward the Asia-Pacific region. The QDR reaffirms that this is a priority in U.S. defense policy, in light of the current and future security environment. At the same time, I understand that the QDR places emphasis on close cooperative relationships with allies; and on strengthening and modernizing deterrence and response capabilities, including those of the Marine Corps in the Asia-Pacific region. The QDR also outlines plans for the relocation of the Marine Corps to Guam, and the U.S. policy of maintaining nuclear capabilities with nuclear extended deterrence in mind. As such, I understand that the U.S. is upholding initiatives that are vital to peace and stability in Japan and the broader region.

REPORTER: Does the Japanese Government welcome the ongoing U.S. policy of focusing on Asia?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Yes, of course. At the same time, the Japanese Government will continue to monitor developments in the U.S. Congress. In addition, we will steadily and broadly advance the security partnership and defense cooperation between Japan and the U.S., including the review of the Guidelines for U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation.

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