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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

July 26, 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

(Abridged)

REPORTER: I have a question about a film that has been released in the Republic of Korea (ROK). Today, a film called “The Battleship Island” set on Hashima in Nagasaki Prefecture about requisitioned civilians from the Korean Peninsula has been released in the ROK. Is the Government aware of the content of this film, and if so, can we have a comment from the Government about the film?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the director of the film “The Battleship Island” has stated himself that it is a “fictional story.” My understanding is that it is not a documentary film reflecting historical facts. Accordingly, I would like to refrain from commenting on the specific contents of the film concerned. I would add that the 1965 Japan-ROK Claims Agreement completely and finally resolved issues related to property and claims between Japan and the ROK, including in regard to the requisition of laborers.

REPORTER: I have a related question. A video trailer for this film was screened on one of the large electronic screens in Times Square in New York City earlier this month. That video used images entirely unrelated to Hashima and the trailer included many scenes that could be viewed as image manipulation. Is the Government aware of the content of this video trailer and has any protest been made?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The director of the film has stated himself that it is a work of fiction and is not a documentary film reflecting historical facts. Therefore the Government would like to refrain from commenting on specific contents.

REPORTER: Hashima was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015, as one of the sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution. At the time the Government proposed to establish an information center that would explain the historical background to the sites that comprise the world heritage listing. In December this year Japan is scheduled to report to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on the progress of this proposal. The ROK is calling for such a center to include information about the people who were brought to Japan from the Korean Peninsula and forced to work in Hashima. Given that the sites included in the UNESCO inscription only cover the era up to 1910, an entirely different period from the one for which the ROK is requesting information to be included, how does the Government intend to respond to this issue?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government will respond appropriately and in accordance with the background to the inscription of this site.

REPORTER: There are currently various moves underway in the ROK with regard to the Japan-ROK agreement reached in December 2015 concerning the comfort women issue, and now it appears that the ROK is also seeking to make an issue of the requisition of laborers, as this film also demonstrates. What is your view of these various moves?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the Japan-ROK agreement was confirmed between the two countries and our position is that mutual efforts should be advanced to realize the content of the agreement. The agreement has also been very highly appreciated by the international community and the role of both Japan and the ROK is to make mutual efforts to ensure its implementation.

REPORTER: I would like to ask the same question again. As can be seen by the release of this film there are moves in the ROK to also make an issue out of the requisition of laborers. What is your view of such moves?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Government’s recognition is that the Japan-ROK Claims Settlement Agreement completely and finally resolved issues related to property and claims between Japan and the ROK, including in regard to the requisition of laborers.

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