• Kyodo

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Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told the graduates of the National Defense Academy’s class of 2006 Sunday that Japan must fight weapons of mass destruction, the spread of ballistic missile technology and international terrorism.

“The global community today is challenged by new threats and diverse situations that pose a threat to our peace and security, and we must respond more effectively to them,” Koizumi told the cadets at the academy’s graduation ceremony in his hometown of Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture.

Koizumi also told the cadets that Japanese-U.S. security arrangements will “continue to have significant implications” for national security and emphasized that his administration is concentrating its utmost efforts on compiling the final report on the realignment of United States forces in Japan.

Meanwhile, Defense Agency Director General Fukushiro Nukaga told the graduates he will do his best to recover public trust in the agency, which was rocked by a series of bid-rigging scandals involving construction projects ordered by the Defense Facilities Administration Agency, a part of the Defense Agency.

“It is truly regrettable and, as an organization, the Defense Agency should be held responsible,” he said. “We vow to recover public trust by devoting all our strength to examining the incidents and by coming up with effective preventive measures.”

Three current and former DFAA officials have been indicted over alleged bid-rigging involving the installation of air conditioning systems at the Defense Agency and engineering construction projects at U.S. military bases in Yamaguchi and Nagasaki prefectures.

The DFAA manages facilities for the Self-Defense Forces and for U.S. forces in Japan.