Monday, December 21, 2009

Press Conference by the Deputy Press Secretary, 17 December 2009

Press Conference by the Deputy Press Secretary, 17 December 2009

V. Questions concerning the relocation of the US forces in Okinawa

Q: Am I allowed to ask other things besides Copenhagen?

Mr. Kawamura: Yes, of course.

Q: About the Futenma issue, Prime Minister Hatoyama has said that he would like to look for an alternative site other than what was agreed between Japan and the United States in 2006. The United States seems to be quite disappointed about this government policy to postpone the conclusion about where Japan wants to relocate the facilities. What is your view, currently, about the current situation between Japan and the United States? Mr. Okada has said that he is very concerned about the situation. As a spokesman, how do you view the situation now?

Mr. Kawamura: I need to double check about the United States' reaction. You mentioned disappointment...

Q: I think they said it is unfortunate or something...

Mr. Kawamura: I read the press report about this statement yesterday or the day before yesterday, but I think that Foreign Minister Okada said in his press conference that he has not received a reaction from the US by indicating that they are disappointed or that they disapprove. What we did with the United States was that there was an agreement among the Japanese leaders that three coalition parties would continue to discuss this issue. Foreign Minister Okada informed the United States side about the establishment of the working group among the three coalition parties, and the current state of the discussions among them. That is what we told the United States. To the best of my knowledge, Foreign Minister Okada has not received any negative reaction from the US side since then.

Getting back to the core of your question, how we view this situation, repeatedly we reiterate that we recognize the importance of the Japan-US Alliance. As the top leaders confirmed, our alliance is the cornerstone of foreign policy making. Based on that, we are making our best efforts so that the current US-Japan Alliance lasts for the next 30-50 years. We had the election with the will of the local electorate in Okinawa and we have the US-Japan agreement. The time element also needs to be considered. We will make efforts so that at an early time we can reach a reasonable conclusion.

Related Information ( Japan-U.S. Relations )

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