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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

February 23, 2018 (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]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga
(There were statements on the overview of the Cabinet meeting and on the ministerial discussions following the Cabinet meeting and others.)
 
Q&As
 
(Abridged)
 
REPORTER: I have a question concerning the restrictions on imports of fishery products from the Tohoku area and other regions of Japan, introduced by the Republic of Korea (ROK). The World Trade Organization (WTO) has reached a decision in Japan’s favor regarding these restrictions. May I ask for the Government’s views on this decision and how the Government will respond going forward?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: On February 22, local time, in Geneva, Switzerland, a WTO panel issued the report that you have just mentioned. The Government welcomes the report, which reflects the claims that the Government has made to date. The Government will call on the ROK to faithfully and promptly correct these import restrictions that have now been confirmed as violations of the WTO agreements. At the same time, based on this panel report, we will strengthen our calls on those countries and regions to lift or relax import restrictions on Japanese food products, which, similarly to the ROK, have been imposed after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station accident.
 
REPORTER: The Government of the ROK has indicated that it intends to appeal the decision, which means that import restrictions will remain in place until a final judgment is rendered. How will the Government be responding with regard to this point?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, two-and-a-half years have passed since the establishment of the panel on this case. The ROK has announced its intention to appeal to the Appellate Body against the decision of the panel report. Given that we spent two-and-a-half years on this case, it is extremely regrettable that such an appeal has been made. The Government will respond appropriately in order to ensure that Japan’s positions are accepted by the Appellate Body and we will also continue to call strongly on the ROK to faithfully and promptly correct these measures that have been confirmed as a violation of the WTO agreements.
 
(Abridged)
 
REPORTER: Dr. Chung Hyun-back, Minister of Gender Equality and Family of the ROK, made a statement at one of the meetings of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women that she supported the installation of a comfort woman statue. May I ask how the Government sees this statement and how you will respond?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, I have received a report that the statement made by the representative of the ROK did not mention a comfort woman statue but a memorial. In any event, Japan has implemented all of its commitments under the Japan-ROK agreement in good faith, and the Government will, therefore, continue to call on the ROK to steadily implement the agreements, which was confirmed by both sides as being final and irreversible.
 
REPORTER: In relation to the previous question, the Minister of Gender Equality and Family has also stated that the ROK would establish a comfort women research institute in August, in order to foster broader interest in the comfort women issue. What is the Government’s view of this announcement?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The Japan and the ROK made an agreement on the comfort women issue. With respect to a comfort woman statue, as I mentioned earlier, Japan has already implemented all of its commitments under the agreement and, therefore, we will continue to call strongly on the ROK to implement its own commitments, as this issue was resolved finally and irreversibly with this agreement, including those related to comfort woman statues.
 

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