Japan-Republic of Korea Relations

Japan-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

December 28, 2015
Japanese
Korean

  • Japan-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting 1
  • Japan-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting 2
  • Japan-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting 3

On December 28, commencing from around 2:00 p.m. to 3:20 p.m., Mr Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, held a Japan-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting with Mr Yun Byung-se, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea (ROK), and announced (English / Japanese / Korean (PDF)Open a New Window) about the issue of comfort women at the press occasion held after the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting as follows.

1.
(1) Foreign Minister Kishida announced as follows.
The Government of Japan and the Government of the Republic of Korea (ROK) have intensively discussed the issue of comfort women between Japan and the ROK at bilateral meetings including the Director-General consultations. Based on the result of such discussions, I, on behalf of the Government of Japan, state the following:

(i) The issue of comfort women, with an involvement of the Japanese military authorities at that time, was a grave affront to the honor and dignity of large numbers of women, and the Government of Japan is painfully aware of responsibilities from this perspective. As Prime Minister of Japan, Prime Minister Abe expresses anew his most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.

(ii) The Government of Japan has been sincerely dealing with this issue. Building on such experience, the Government of Japan will now take measures to heal psychological wounds of all former comfort women through its budget. To be more specific, it has been decided that the Government of the ROK establish a foundation for the purpose of providing support for the former comfort women, that its funds be contributed by the Government of Japan as a one-time contribution through its budget, and that projects for recovering the honor and dignity and healing the psychological wounds of all former comfort women be carried out under the cooperation between the Government of Japan and the Government of the ROK.

(iii) While stating the above, the Government of Japan confirms that this issue is resolved finally and irreversibly with this announcement, on the premise that the Government will steadily implement the measures specified in (ii) above. In addition, together with the Government of the ROK, the Government of Japan will refrain from accusing or criticizing each other regarding this issue in the international community, including at the United Nations.

(2) Foreign Minister Yun announced as follows.
The Government of the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Government of Japan have intensively discussed the issue of comfort women between the ROK and Japan at bilateral meetings including the Director-General consultations. Based on the result of such discussions, I, on behalf of the Government of the ROK, state the following:

(i) The Government of the ROK values the GOJ’s announcement and efforts made by the Government of Japan in the lead-up to the issuance of the announcement and confirms, together with the GOJ, that the issue is resolved finally and irreversibly with this announcement, on the premise that the Government of Japan will steadily implement the measures specified in 1. (1) (ii)above. The Government of the ROK will cooperate in the implementation of the Government of Japan’s measures.

(ii) The Government of the ROK acknowledges the fact that the Government of Japan is concerned about the statue built in front of the Embassy of Japan in Seoul from the viewpoint of preventing any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity, and will strive to solve this issue in an appropriate manner through taking measures such as consulting with related organizations about possible ways of addressing this issue.

(iii) The Government of the ROK, together with the Government of Japan, will refrain from accusing or criticizing each other regarding this issue in the international community, including at the United Nations, on the premise that the Government of Japan will steadily implement the measures it announced.

2. Furthermore, Foreign Minister Kishida announced that the amount of budget contributed to the foundation would be approximately one billion yen.

3. In addition, both sides exchanged views briefly about the Japan-ROK cooperation in the fields of security and other various issues between the two countries.