(* This is a provisional translation by a translation service company for reference purpose only. The original text is in Japanese.)

Press Conference by Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura

Date: Friday, October 7, 2005, 8:45 a.m.
Place: Inside the House

Main topics:


1. Cabinet Meeting

Minister:
There was no special matter on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Question:
You stayed in the room after the Cabinet Meeting for a while. Did you discuss anything with the Prime Minister?

Minister:
Yes, we discussed briefly.

Question:
What issues did you discuss?

Minister:
I have no comment on it.

2. Assistance to Overseas Atomic Bomb Survivors

Minister:
Regarding Japan-ROK relationship, there are a lot of overseas atomic bomb survivors, particularly in ROK. The application for the healthcare allowance had to be done only in Japan so far. During the Cabinet Meeting, we discussed that it should also be possible to apply for the healthcare allowance outside Japan, too. This issue was also raised in the Japan-ROK Summit Meeting. Coincidentally, the Fukuoka High Court decided on a case relating to this issue at the end of the last month. Since this issue has been considered and the Health, Labour and Welfare Minister Otsuji is in charge of it, he will state it. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will also prepare for acceptance of the application at the counter of diplomatic missions as soon as possible, though I cannot say when exactly.

Question:
Will it be implemented within the year?

Minister:
As soon as possible. I cannot say when exactly now.

Question:
Does this decision have something to do with the fact that this year is the 60th anniversary after the war? What do you think of the meaning of this decision in this anniversary year?

Minister:
There are some remaining issues between Japan and ROK such as the issue of HOKKANTAISHOUHI, the issue of Koreans left in Sakhalin. Together with these issues, this issue is one of the themes which the Government of Japan has taken a serious approach to. I am happy that the direction be set clearly now.

Question:
Was this issue discussed in the Informal Cabinet Meeting?

Minister:
No.

Question:
Does it mean you agreed with the HLW Minister Otsuji?

Minister:
Exactly.

Related Information (Japan-ROK Relations)

3. Notification from Diet member SUZUKI Muneo

Question:
We heard that instruction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to deal with Diet member SUZUKI Muneo was compiled into a manual and explained to the senior officials. In reaction to this, Diet member SUZUKI Muneo sent contents-certified mail to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asking the truth and requiring a reply within 36 hours. What do you respond to this matter?

Minister:
I have not heard of it.

Question:
What do you respond as responsible person of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs?

Minister:
I will check the contents of his notification.

Question:
Did you know that the manual was compiled and was explained to the senior officials?

Minister:
I know something has been done.


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