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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

June 17, 2015 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER: It was recently announced that a Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting is to be held on June 21. Could you tell us what outcomes the Government is expecting from the meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Although there are various issues that exist between Japan and the ROK, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the ROK will be making his first visit to Japan, and in the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, he will engage in an exchange of opinions with Foreign Minister Kishida on issues such as Japan-ROK relations, North Korean issues and challenges facing the region and the international community. In that sense, it is the Government’s hope that the meeting will be forward looking and one of mutual sincerity.

REPORTER: On a related note, in the forum of the Foreign Ministers’ meeting, will the Government be making any kind of new proposal with regard to the comfort women issue, which is an issue on which the ROK generally places emphasis?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Japan’s way of thinking on this issue has been set out on frequent occasions in the past, and the Government will persevere in fully explaining this way of thinking.

REPORTER: I have another related question. Are issues relating to world heritage inscription likely to be raised on the agenda of the Foreign Ministers’ meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: There are various issues to be discussed, and I would like to refrain from making any comment about what form discussions will take. What I would say is that naturally the foreign ministers will engage in an exchange of opinions on the various issues between Japan and the ROK.

REPORTER: With regard to the issue of world heritage inscription, the ROK side has stated that proper explanations should be provided concerning the negative aspects of history, including the requisition of civilians. How does the Government intend to respond to such points?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Concerning the matter of world heritage inscription, as you are all aware, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) has issued a recommendation, recognizing the value of the industrial revolution sites of Meiji Japan. The Government therefore hopes that the World Heritage Committee will come to a decision in line with the recommendations issued by ICOMOS.


REPORTER: I have a question concerning the ministerial meetings related to the G7 Ise-Shima Summit Meeting next year. According to some press reports, arrangements are being finalized for the G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting to be held in Hiroshima. Could you tell us the facts behind these press reports?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: I am not aware of such reports. The press reports are probably speculative.

REPORTER: On a related note, when is the Government aiming to decide and announce the locations for the related G7 meetings?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: The process of deciding how many related meetings will take place is still ongoing, so no decisions have been made on how and when the announcement of the locations will be made.

REPORTER: In the same press reports it has been suggested that the Ise-Shima Summit itself will be moved to the end of May in order to avoid the start of the rainy season in Japan in June. What is the status of arrangements concerning the dates for the meeting?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: Nothing has been decided as yet. As each G7 leader will have various domestic matters to attend to, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is currently gathering information on the best timing for the meeting that would make it possible for all leaders to attend.

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