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Defense Minister Inada talks about security challenges to Japan

NHK’s “News Watch 9” aired a one-on-one interview with Defense Minister Inada as the first installment of its series of interviews with newly appointed ministers of the Abe cabinet. Concerning China’s escalating maritime activities near the Senkaku Islands, Inada stressed the importance of the rule of law, saying that Japan will collect information in cooperation with relevant nations. When asked whether she could envision invoking the option of ordering a maritime security operation that is authorized to use force, Inada stated that although she cannot comment on specific operational options, Japan will take all necessary steps to defend itself. Regarding North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests, the defense minister stated that it is necessary for Japan to enhance its own defense capabilities to prepare for any threats in addition to strengthening its alliance with the U.S. and cooperation with other relevant nations. Concerning the suspended FRF construction work at Henoko, Inada said that the GOJ will continue to hold dialogue with the government and people of Okinawa while proceeding with the court hearing on the matter. When asked whether she will visit Yasukuni Shrine again in the future, Inada said that although a shrine visit is a personal matter, she will act appropriately as a member of the Abe cabinet. Asked whether she will seek to become prime minister in the future, Inada said that she will make efforts to fulfill her responsibilities in the posts she is given.

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