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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

June 30, 2017 (PM)

If you can not view the video,click here(Japanese Government Internet TV)
This video's audio is a provisional translation through live simultaneous interpretation.

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Q&As

REPORTER: I have a question about Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) relations. The Busan Metropolitan Council today passed an ordinance that places the comfort woman statue installed in front of the Japanese Consulate General in Busan under city management. The Government of Japan has repeatedly called for the removal of the statue. Can you please comment about this latest development?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, I am aware of the matter you mentioned needless to say. It is extremely regrettable that such a move was taken, despite the fact that Japan and the ROK confirmed in their agreement of 2015 that the comfort women issue was resolved finally and irreversibly. Japan has emphasized this stance to the ROK multiple times up to now. In any event, the Government will continue to use all available opportunities to persistently request the ROK to steadily implement the agreement.

REPORTER: You have just stated that this development is extremely regrettable. In response to the passage of the ordinance has the Government communicated its intention to lodge a protest directly to the Busan city government or the national government of the ROK on this matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have just stated, the Government will continue to use all available opportunities to urge the ROK to implement the agreement.

REPORTER: It is likely that the statue will become more difficult to remove following the passage of this ordinance that places it under city management. In what ways will the Government be strengthening its calls to realize the removal of the statue?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have stated frequently, the agreement reached in 2015 was confirmed by Japan and the ROK. It is also valued by the international community. To ensure the steady implementation of the agreement, Japan will continue to use every opportunity available to persistently call on the ROK to steadily implement the agreement.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I have a question concerning Mr. Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese Nobel Peace Prize Laureate who has been prevented from leaving China to date. Mr. Liu has been diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer and apparently wishes to receive treatment overseas. In regard to this wish the United States ambassador in Beijing and others have expressed the opinion that he should be allowed to receive treatment overseas. Although this matter raises issues about interference in the affairs of other countries, could you tell us your thoughts from a humanitarian perspective?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to refrain from commenting on behalf of the Government with regard to this matter.

REPORTER: What are your thoughts on the humanitarian aspects of this matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I would like to refrain from commenting on behalf of the Government with regard to this matter. I would hope that humanitarian considerations will be respected.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I have a question concerning Hong Kong, which tomorrow will mark the 20th anniversary of its return to China. Under the “One Country Two Systems” structure Hong Kong has continued to experience rapid economic growth and has also become a global gateway for trade and finance. On the other hand it has also been pointed out that China’s growing influence over Hong Kong has become more apparent in recent years. What is the Government’s view with regard to the current situation for Hong Kong, 20 years after its return to China?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, I am aware that President Xi Jinping of China will be visiting Hong Kong to mark the 20th anniversary of the return tomorrow. The Government of Japan hopes that Hong Kong will continue to maintain its existing free and open system under the “One Country Two Systems,” that it will continue to remain stable and prosper, and also that close exchanges between Japan and Hong Kong will be further maintained and enhanced. We also look forward to building a close and cooperative relationship with Ms. Carrie Lam, who will be inaugurated as Chief Executive tomorrow.

(Abridged)

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