(* This is a provisional translation by a translation service company for reference purpose only. The original text is in Japanese.)

Press Conference by Foreign Minister Taro Aso

Date: Tuesday, January 24, 2006, 9:35 a.m.
Place: Lower House Dining Hall

Main topics:

  1. Cabinet Meeting/Informal Cabinet Meeting
  2. Realignment of U.S. Forces
  3. Livedoor Co. President Horie's Arrest

1. Cabinet Meeting/Informal Cabinet Meeting

(See Japanese version)

2. Realignment of U.S. Forces

Question:
Regarding the realignment of U.S. Forces, a new mayor of Nago City, Okinawa Prefecture, was elected the day before yesterday. The new mayor says that he is to consult with the Government if they have the Futenma Replacement Facility amends to be acceptable to the local people. What do you think of his stance?

Minister:
Since you were in Okinawa, I assume you understand the situation well. Our past experience tells us that when we lean towards a local proposal, another proposal comes up, and it becomes unclear which one is actually real. However, Mr. Shimabukuro, the newly elected mayor, knows his own mind. We would first like the issue hear what his proposal is.

Question:
Would you like to have a talk with the Nago mayor soon?

Minister:
Yes. The Defense Facilities Administration Agency might have started to talk with him, perhaps from today.

Question:
Do you think there is room for the amendment?

Minister:
I am not sure about your definition of "amendment". Would you say that even a 1cm move is an amendment? Or are you thinking of 100m? Not knowing the definition, it is hard to answer your question.

Question:
Are you considering an amendment to eliminate possible noise impacts on residential areas?

Minister:
Are you leading me to say the relocation place should be off shore?

Question:
No, I'm not. Since you asked for the specific meaning of "amendment", I am asking if you are considering an amendment to reduce possible noise impacts, for example.

Minister:
It is without question that to obtain understanding of local people noise issues should be considered to the utmost extent. I believe there were 10 or 11 houses in the lower area. You must be familiar. How many houses are there?

Question:
I'm sorry, I don't know.

Minister:
Oh, you don't know.

Question:
Do you mean such an amendment is possible?

Minister:
We can have discussions from various angles. If I remember correctly, the noise in that area was within the permissible range of the noise regulation applicable. Even so, as a matter of course the noise level should be as low as possible.

Related Information (Japan-U.S. Relations)

3. Livedoor Co. President Horie's Arrest

(See Japanese version)


Back to Index