State Minister of Defense Yasuhide Nakayama revealed at a Lower House Committee on Foreign Affairs session held on March 19 that discussions are currently underway with the U.S. on “mission essential” workers at the U.S. Forces in Japan, who are asked to continue serving even in the event of emergencies such as natural disasters and terrorist attacks.
Nakayama acknowledged that the “Ministry of Defense is aware that there are some people who are worried [about being designated as mission essential personnel” and we take this very seriously.” He pointed out the need to take action on this. He also noted that the U.S. side has explained [to the Japanese government] that mission essential personnel will not engage in combat activities.
He provided this information in response to a question from Go Shinohara of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ).