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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

July 24, 2017 (AM)

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

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I have a question about the Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) agreement regarding the comfort women issue. The head of the Reconciliation and Healing Foundation in the ROK, which was established under the Japan-ROK agreement, has announced her intention to resign. When giving reasons for her resignation, Ms. Kim Tae-hyeon, the head of the foundation, stated that its activities have lost momentum and reached their limit, and that she feels that there is nothing more she can do. If the activities of the foundation lose their momentum and decrease there are concerns that this might adversely impact the implementation of the Japan-ROK agreement. Can I ask for a comment from the Government about this matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, I am aware of the press reports on this matter. However, I am not aware that the activities of the Reconciliation and Healing Foundation are going to be terminated. In any event, the Government of Japan has been working to steadily carry out the agreement, including the provision of about 1 billion yen to the foundation in August 2016. The foundation has utilized the 1 billion yen provided by the Government to conduct various activities to support former comfort women. I understand that 36 of the 47 former comfort women who were alive at the time of the conclusion of the Japan-ROK agreement in 2015 have received support through the foundation’s activities. In addition, the Japan-ROK agreement of 2015 is one that was confirmed between the two countries, and it was highly appreciated by the international community. It is therefore extremely important to steadily implement the agreement and we will continue to work with the ROK to advance its implementation.

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I would like to return to the topic of the Japan-ROK agreement. If the activities of the Reconciliation and Healing Foundation are halted there are concerns that the domestic situation in the ROK could result in the agreement itself being abandoned. Does the Government have such concerns?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I have just noted, my understanding is that 36 of the 47 former comfort women have received support through the foundation’s activities. The Japan-ROK agreement is one that was confirmed between the two countries. It gained a great deal of attention and was highly appreciated by the international community. It is therefore extremely important for both countries to work to steadily implement the agreement.

REPORTER: You have just mentioned the importance of steadily implementing the agreement, but since it was concluded at the end of 2015 there has been little progress. What are your views on the reasons for this situation?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The agreement is an international agreement that was concluded by Japan and the ROK and which gained global attention. It is therefore important for Japan and the ROK to work together to implement the agreement.

(Abridged)


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