Skip to main content

Home >  News >  Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary >  February 2018 >  February 27, 2018 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

February 27, 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 was a statement on the overview of the Cabinet meeting.)
 
Q&As
 
(Abridged)
 
REPORTER: I have a question about the Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) agreement regarding the comfort women issue. At the United Nations Human Rights Council in Switzerland, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha of the ROK stated that the efforts to resolve the comfort women issue had lacked a victim-centered approach and expressed her recognition that the previous responses taken by the ROK had been insufficient, including the Japan-ROK agreement. What is the Government’s view of these comments about the comfort women issue that were made in a forum of the UN?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the Japan-ROK agreement in 2015 confirmed that the comfort women issue had been resolved finally and irreversibly. The Government of Japan cannot accept the recent statement made by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the ROK. Following her statement, on February 26, Ambassador Junichi Ihara of the Permanent Mission of Japan to the International Organizations in Geneva immediately lodged a strong protest with the ROK. The Japan-ROK agreement is an agreement between two countries, and it is an international and universal principle that an agreement must be implemented responsibly regardless of the change of government. Japan has been sincerely implementing all the commitments made in the agreement, and we will continue to call strongly on the ROK to steadily implement this final and irreversible agreement.
 
REPORTER: You have mentioned that the protest was made to the ROK. These statements have actually come directly after the previous one made on February 22 last week. In a meeting of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the Minister of Gender Equality and Family of the ROK used the term “sex slaves,” which the Government of Japan has requested not to be used. A protest was also made last week in response to these comments. What kind of response is the Government considering for the improvement in the stance of the ROK?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, we are aware of these statements and lodged protests, noting that they were extremely regrettable. I would repeat that the Japan-ROK agreement is an agreement between two countries, and it is an international and universal principle that an agreement must be implemented responsibly. This principle is recognized for all countries. The Government will continue to call strongly and persistently on the ROK to steadily implement this final and irreversible agreement.
 
REPORTER: Are we to understand that the strong protest made by Ambassador Ihara was therefore literally a protest?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Yes.
 
REPORTER: I have a question about the situation in North Korea. North Korea has continued its charm offensive through the opportunities afforded by the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, such as Gen. Kim Yong Chol, Director of the Workers’ Party of Korea United Front Department, who visited the ROK, emphasizing its willingness to seek dialogue with the United States. What is the Government’s analysis concerning the possibility of North Korea continuing its provocations after the Olympics, while the Paralympic Games are still to be held?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, we are aware that there are various views on the possibility of provocative actions by North Korea. Some view that it needs to further conduct ballistic missile launches so as to proceed with its nuclear and missile development. Some view that it will conduct further provocative actions in protest at joint United States-ROK military exercises. While I would like to refrain from discussing details of the Government’s analysis, it is a fact that North Korea’s nuclear and missile development programs are progressing steadily. It is important not to be distracted by North Korea’s charm offensive. The Government will continue to collect and analyze information about North Korea with the greatest concern, cooperating closely with the United States, the ROK and other countries concerned. We will also continue to maintain a high sense of alert under the robust Japan-U.S. Alliance as we work to ensure an advanced surveillance and monitoring structure and make every effort to ensure the safety and security of the people of Japan.
 
REPORTER: I have a question concerning evacuation plans for Japanese nationals in the ROK in the event of a contingency on the Korean Peninsula. To date you have stated that the Government has considered the necessary preparations under a variety of scenarios. Now that the Winter Olympic Games have concluded, can I ask once again about the status of considerations concerning evacuation plans for Japanese nationals and whether the Government considers such plans to be necessary?
 
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Firstly, the most important responsibility of the Government is to make utmost efforts to protect and rescue Japanese nationals if they are in danger overseas. The Government constantly envisions a variety of scenarios that would require the protection and evacuation of Japanese nationals living in the ROK and is conducting the necessary preparations and reviews for areas such as information gathering, safety confirmation, and securing transport methods. I would like to refrain from disclosing the details about the Government’s considerations as this could have a severe impact on measures to ensure the safety of Japanese nationals. In any event, we aim to do everything we can to ensure an appropriate response to any situation.
 
(Abridged)
 

Page Top

Related Link