(Translation)

Press Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Hidenao Nakagawa on the Asian Women's Fund

September 1, 2000

Today, former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama was appointed president of the Asian Women's Fund, which was established in July 1995 and this year marks its fifth anniversary. The Government of Japan, which established and has supported the fund, sincerely welcomes the appointment of former Prime Minister Murayama as the new president and wishes to clarify once again its basic understanding, as follows.

  1. The Government of Japan is painfully aware of its moral responsibility regarding the issue of the "wartime comfort women" and has been dealing sincerely with this issue through the fund.
  2. Today, former Prime Minister Murayama was appointed as the new president of the Asian Women's Fund. He has just visited Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori to inform the Prime Minister of his appoinment. This year, the fund, which was established in 1995, marks its fifth anniversary. The projects of the fund, which aims to express Japanese people's atonement for the issue of "wartime comfort women", are generally making steady progress. The Government has allotted government budget for the fund, through which it has been implementing medical and welfare support projects for former "wartime comfort women." Donations to the fund from a broad spectrum of the Japanese population amount to approximately 450 million yen. I understand that so far, using these donations as a financial resource, the fund has paid reparations to 170 former "wartime comfort women."
  3. Under the new president Murayama, the fund plans to engage in the collection and organization of materials relating to the issue of "wartime comfort women" and tackle with the utmost energy projects relating to present-day women's problems as well as projects relating to the issue of "wartime comfort women". The Government hopes that these projects will make steady progress and intends to continue extending as much cooperation to the fund as possible.

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