All national dailies ran new Defense Minister Iwaya’s group interview with the press on Thursday, during which he reportedly stressed the need for an increase in Japan’s defense budget to strengthen Japan’s defense capability in space and cyberspace in view of the increasingly strained security environment surrounding the nation. Concerning the possibility of Japan possessing the ability to attack enemy bases, Iwaya said that he has no plan at this juncture to change Japan’s current policy of depending on the strike capabilities of the United States. Concerning China’s maritime advancement, the new defense chief said that Japan should continue reacting firmly and calmly to Chinese activities in waters and airspace near Japan. Iwaya expressed the view that there has been no change in the threat posed by the DPRK, which deploys hundreds of ballistic missiles that are capable of reaching Japan. In view of this situation, the defense minister discussed the need for Japan to deploy the Aegis Ashore missile defense system. Concerning Okinawa, Iwaya expressed readiness to hold dialogue with Governor Tamaki on Futenma relocation and reducing the base-hosting burden on the prefecture.