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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

February 25, 2015 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

[Provisional Translation]


REPORTER: I have a question regarding the Prime Minister’s statement for the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. Yesterday, Ms. Tomoko Inada, Chairman of the Policy Research Council of the Liberal Democratic Party stated that, as the 70th year statement is the Prime Minister’s statement, its wording should be left up to the Prime Minister. Do you yourself think that the specific wording should ultimately be left up to the judgment of the Prime Minister?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, we would like the Advisory Panel, which will have its first meeting today, to carry out extensive discussions regarding the world order in the 21st century and the role Japan should play in it. Our stance is to first listen to their discussion and opinions, and then consider the actual wording of the statement. This process will start from today.


REPORTER: I have a related question. Although this question was raised when you announced the Advisory Panel members, can you please once again tell us the points which were taken into consideration when selecting the Advisory Panel members? Also, one of the members, Mr. Nishimuro, has served as the Chairperson on the Japanese side for the New Japan-China Friendship Committee for the 21st Century. Was this also taken into consideration?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: As I stated moments ago, we asked those from a wide variety of fields, including scholars who are deeply knowledgeable in history and politics, as well as journalists and business persons, representing different age ranges, including women, to join as members of the Advisory Panel, so that the Advisory Panel can carry out discussions from diverse perspectives,


REPORTER: There is a lawsuit that requests the removal of the comfort woman statue in Glendale, United States. Recently, the Los Angeles county court indicated its intention to in effect dismiss the plaintiffs’ appeal. In his ruling, the judge reasoned that he did not see any Japanese Government support for this case. The plaintiffs have said that bolder moves were needed from the Japanese Government to win the case. Can you share the Government’s views regarding this matter?  

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, this is a lawsuit that a private organization filed with a U.S. court, and the Japanese Government would like to refrain from making specific comments based on individual cases.

That said, I would like to say that the establishment of comfort women statues and memorials in the United States runs entirely counter to the position of the Japanese Government and our efforts thus far, and is deeply regrettable. I imagine that the Japanese people in Glendale share the same feelings, and therefore, went ahead with the lawsuit.

The United States, in particular, is a society where people of diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds coexist peacefully and in harmony with each other, including in Glendale. In this context, we believe it is inappropriate for private organizations to bring into civic life matters such as the comfort women issue on which people have entirely different views depending on their country of origin. In connection with the intention indicated by the court in the United States, it is true that we are working closely with the Japanese people in Glendale, including those associated with the plaintiffs, through senior officials of the Consulate-General of Japan.


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