Press Conferences

Press Conference by Foreign Press Secretary ONO Hikariko

Wednesday, July 13, 2022, 3:45 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs

This is a provisional translation by an external company for reference purpose only.

Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) Relations (Issue of the Former Civilian Workers from the Korean Peninsula)

Mainichi Shimbun, Aoki: I would like to ask about Japan-ROK relations. Regarding the issue of the former civilian workers from the Korean Peninsula, what is the view of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding various movements by the ROK side to avoid liquidation of seized assets as much as possible? In addition, many people are talking about the possibility of Foreign Minister Park’s visit to Japan, so I would also like to ask about the status of coordination.

Ms. ONO Hikariko, Press Secretary: Regarding the issue of the former civilian workers from the Korean Peninsula, I know that Japan’s basic position is that if the seized assets of Japanese companies were to be liquidated, it would lead to a serious situation for Japan-ROK relations and therefore must be avoided.

We have repeatedly conveyed this to the ROK side. The Government of Japan will firmly ascertain the response of the Yoon administration and closely communicate with the ROK in order to restore healthy Japan-ROK relations.

Regarding a visit to Japan by Foreign Minister Park Jin of the ROK that you mentioned, nothing has been decided at this time.

The Passing of Former Prime Minister Abe (Visit to Japan by Vice President Lai Ching-te of Taiwan)

Asahi Shimbun, Aibara: Yesterday, the Deputy Director General of the Department of Information of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs commented that the Chinese embassy had lodged some sort of protest to the Government of Japan with regard to the visit to Japan by Vice President Lai of Taiwan, who came to Japan to attend the recent funeral of former Prime Minister Abe. Please tell us if that occurred and if such an act was conducted, what was the Government of Japan’s explanation for it? Please answer those two questions.

Press Secretary Ono: For Japan, Taiwan is an extremely important partner and precious friend with which we share basic values and enjoy a close economic relationship and people to people exchange.

Additionally, the person you mentioned visited Japan as a private individual to attend the funeral of former Prime Minister Abe. There is no change in Japan’s basic position of maintaining Japan-Taiwan relations as a working relationship on a non-governmental basis.

I am aware of the point you have mentioned. However, I would like to refrain from commenting here as this involves diplomatic communication with China. In any case, we are making objections based on Japan’s position that I have just mentioned.

G7 Hiroshima Summit

Chugoku Shimbun, Higuchi: I would like to ask about the status of preparation for the Hiroshima Summit that will be held in May 2023. I believe that a preparatory secretariat will probably be established soon. What is the status of preparation?

Press Secretary Ono: At the recent Elmau Summit, Prime Minister Kishida’s announced that the G7 Hiroshima Summit will be held from May 19 to 21, 2023. MOFA plans to establish the G7 Hiroshima Summit secretariat soon in order to further strengthen the structure within the ministry.

The schedule for the G7 Hiroshima Summit has been decided and various preparations will begin in earnest. Amidst this, MOFA will continue to proceed with preparations in a close cooperation with relevant ministries and agencies, Hiroshima Prefecture, and Hiroshima City.

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