TOKYO – Former Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) policy chief Kishida Fumio, who has announced his candidacy for party president (election to be announced on Sept. 17; voting on Sept. 29) met with the press at the Diet building on Sept. 13 and unveiled his policies on diplomacy and security.
On the relocation of the Futenma Airfield to Nago’s Henoko district, he noted that “the project should move forward from the viewpoint of reducing the base-hosting burden.” With regard to the soft seabed located off the coast of the U.S. military’s Camp Schwab and the planned use of soil from the southern part of the island, which may contain the remains of war victims, his only comment was that “on specific issues, I believe it important [for the government] to work hard to provide a detailed explanation and seek the understanding of residents.”
He described the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement as a “huge legal structure” and pointed out that “there is the option of [creating] a supplementary agreement with an eye to achieving a realistic conclusion at an early timing.” He went on to say that “we should consider realistic approaches, including this one,” thus indicating his stance of not making drastic revisions [to the SOFA]. (Abridged)