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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, December 14, 2011 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]


REPORTER: As a part of sanctions on Iran, a deliberative body in the United States is currently considering the imposition of measures to effectively stop financial institutions and overseas financial institutions engaging in transactions with the Central Bank of Iran. As part of settlements relating to the imports of crude oil Japan is engaged in transactions with the Central Bank of Iran, and the Government of Japan has recently imposed separate sanctions on Iran. What are the Government's intentions from now?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: I am aware of the moves in the United States Congress relating to sanctions on Iran that you have just mentioned. In the event that sanctions are extended to include financial institutions other than those in the United States, there are concerns that this could impact Iran's export of crude oil and the Government of Japan has therefore expressed its concerns to the United States Government concerning the impact this would have on the global economy. The Government of Japan will continue to carefully monitor the status of deliberations in the U.S. Congress and the decision made by the U.S. Government. We will then make an appropriate response.


REPORTER: Returning to the issue of Okinawa and the expenses for relocation of U.S. Forces to Guam which were brought up in the morning's press conference, there have been some press reports that the Japanese Government will significantly reduce budget allocation relating to relocation in next year's budget to approximately 10 billion yen. What are the facts of this matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: In terms of the budget relating to relocation of U.S. Forces to Guam being allocated by the Japanese Government, there is a total of 14.9 billion yen in the fiscal 2011 budget incorporated for water purification projects that have been ongoing since fiscal 2009. Given the fact that various infrastructure development is required in order to implement relocation on a full-fledged scale to Guam, the funds for infrastructure-related budget provided to the Japan Finance Corporation amount to 37 billion yen in this fiscal year. However, neither of these projects has yet been implemented. With regard to the handling of this allocated budget, the Government will seek to make an appropriate response upon viewing the current status. The budget for next fiscal year is currently in the compilation stages and I believe that the status of implementation of budget allocation for this fiscal year will be reflected in the budget for next year, although nothing has yet been formally decided.


REPORTER: Could you tell us about the Government view of and response to the wartime "comfort women" issue?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: It is a regrettable outcome that the erection of a statue by a civil organization in front of the Japanese embassy in the Republic of Korea that commemorates the wartime "comfort women" was pushed ahead. I am aware that the erection of the status was completed without the approval of the ROK government and the Japanese Government plans to issue a request through diplomatic channels for the prompt removal of the statue. The consistent stance of the Government that has been repeatedly stated previously with regard to issues relating to claims for compensation between Japan and the ROK, including the "comfort women" issue, is that all such issues have been comprehensively and conclusively resolved through the Agreement between Japan and the ROK concerning the Settlement of Problems in regard to Property and Claims and Economic Cooperation. On the other hand, in order to offer practical support and relief to the former comfort women, who are now in advanced years, the Japanese Government implemented maximum cooperation through the Asian Women's Fund. Although this fund was dissolved in March 2007, the Government's stance is that if there are any follow-up programs to those that were implemented under the auspices of the fund, then the Government would provide assistance.



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