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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

October 20, 2015 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Opening Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga





REPORTER: My question is about a different matter. Following yesterday’s press conference, prosecutors in the Republic of Korea (ROK) sought a one year and six month prison term for the former Seoul bureau chief of Sankei Shimbun for allegedly defaming President Park Geun-hye. What is your opinion of this?  

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: First of all, from the viewpoints of freedom of the press and expression, as well as Japan-ROK relations, the Japanese Government has repeatedly and through various means conveyed its concerns over this matter to the ROK Government, and demanded that appropriate responses be taken. Nevertheless, the trial concluded on the 19th without an improvement in the situation, and the term you referred to was sought. This is extremely regrettable. The Government will continue to urge the ROK to respond appropriately, on a variety of occasions and at various levels.

REPORTER: The Prime Minister has expressed enthusiasm for holding a Japan-ROK summit meeting in the near future. Should such a meeting take place, will the Prime Minister be referring to this matter?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY SUGA: In any case, Japan has made these requests to the ROK at various levels and on various occasions to date. In addition, the official schedule of the Japan-China-ROK (summit) has not been announced yet. In any event, Japan’s position remains completely unchanged.

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