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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, December 20, 2012 (AM)

Press Conference by the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


  • The election of the next President of ROK and Japan-ROK relations

REPORTER: Yesterday, in the presidential election of the Republic of Korea (ROK), Ms. Park Geun-hye was elected as the new President. Can you please share the thoughts of the Government?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SHIBA: As you are aware, Ms. Park Geun-hye was elected to become the next President of the ROK. I would like to first once again express my sincere congratulations to Ms. Park and also my expectations that the ROK will continue to prosper  under the new President. Accordingly, this morning, Prime Minister Noda and Minister for Foreign Affairs Gemba sent messages to President-elect Park to congratulate her on her success in the election. Japan and the ROK naturally have and share fundamental values. Furthermore, the ROK is an important neighbor with which we have common issues which need to be addressed, including the issue of North Korea. In recent years, the two countries have deepened their cooperative relationship on a wide range of areas, including economic and people-to-people exchanges. Japan looks forward to further enhancing this relationship and forging future-oriented and multilayered bilateral relations from a broad perspective.

REPORTER: Relations became strained over the territorial dispute of Takeshima between the previous ROK administration led by former president Lee Myung-bak and the Japanese administration led by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). In Japan, the administration will also be changing. There are a variety of issues such as the referral of the territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), whether or not the Government will hold the "Takeshima Day" meeting, and the issue of "comfort women". At this present stage, what sort of measures would the Government like to request from the next Japanese Government?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SHIBA: In principle, there is no change to the position of the Government. That is, I believe the fundamental view of the Government remains unchanged, including that Takeshima is an inherent part of the territory of Japan, and that naturally if any disputes arise, actions will be taken, such as referring the dispute to the ICJ. However, with regard to the specific responses, I believe it is up to the next Government to consider them and therefore I would like to refrain from making comments regarding them.

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