Press Conference by Foreign Press Secretary ONO Hikariko
Wednesday, July 5, 2023, 3:45 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Holding of “Children’s Kasumigaseki Tour Day”
Ms. ONO Hikariko, Press Secretary: I have an announcement at the outset. It is about “Children’s Kasumigaseki Tour Day.”
“Children’s Kasumigaseki Tour Day” will be held for elementary and junior high school students at various government ministries and agencies in Kasumigaseki on August 2 and 3. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) will also organize several programs with the cooperation of the JICA Global Plaza, the Japan Foundation, and the ASEAN-Japan Centre. Applications for participation will be accepted starting today.
This year, all programs are scheduled to be held in person. Specifically, we are planning to hold four programs: a lecture by Sakana-kun; a presentation by MOFA personnel about the ministry’s work; Discover the World Workshops; and a tour of the Diplomatic Archives.
For the Discover the World Workshops, we will have various booths, including an introduction of Japan’s support to Ukraine by JICA, as well as fun contents for participants to learn about Southeast Asian countries, as this year is the 50th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation.
The presentation by MOFA personnel will include live streaming.
Please refer to the material already distributed to you as well as the MOFA website for more information about the programs and how to participate.
This will be an extremely valuable opportunity for children, who are the future of Japan, to gain first-hand exposure to Japanese diplomacy. All of the programs will be open to the press, so we hope they will be given a lot of coverage.
That is all from me.
Issue of Former Civilian Workers from the Korean Peninsula (CWKs) (Deposit by a Foundation of the Republic of Korea)
Kyodo News, Ueda: I would like to ask about the issue of the lawsuit by the Former Civilian Workers from the Korean Peninsula (CWKs). The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea (ROK) has announced that an ROK foundation has initiated the procedure to make a deposit with the court equivalent to the compensation won by plaintiffs, who are refusing to accept a solution in which the foundation would shoulder the compensation payments of Japanese companies. It appears that the Yoon administration is trying to force a resolution. Please share with us the assessment and opinion of the Government of Japan.
Press Secretary Ono: We are aware of the announcement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the ROK.
We understand that the announced deposit will be made according to the measure that was announced by the Government of the ROK this March. We are also aware that the Government of the ROK has stated that it will continue to make its utmost efforts to gain the understanding of the plaintiffs.
I shall refrain from making further comments on this matter.
ALPS Treated Water (Explanation to China and the ROK)
NHK, Morita: I have a question on ALPS treated water. The IAEA Director General handed over a report to the Prime Minister yesterday, and China has expressed regret over its content. Could you please tell us your reaction and how Japan intends to address this situation? Furthermore, the ASEAN-related Foreign Ministers’ Meetings are coming up next week. Please tell us how Japan intends to deal with the matter at such international fora as well as at bilateral meetings, including with China and the ROK.
Press Secretary Ono: While I am aware of the remarks by China that you mentioned, I would like to refrain from commenting on each remark.
That being said, the IAEA Comprehensive Report has concluded that the approach to the discharge of ALPS treated water into the sea is consistent with relevant international safety standards, and that the discharge of the ALPS treated water will have a negligible radiological impact on people and the environment. In addition, the IAEA has stated that its reviews and monitoring will continue even after the discharge begins. We consider that the IAEA, which is authorized under its Statute to establish and apply international safety standards in the field of nuclear energy, has conducted an assessment based on scientific evidence as an independent third party.
While China has made remarks on the ALPS treated water that are contrary to fact, Japan, on repeated instances, has appropriately refuted such remarks based on scientific evidence. Furthermore, Japan has requested that China make conclusions that are based on scientific evidence.
For the ROK, regarding the safety of ALPS treated water, Japan has been providing information and explanations based on scientific evidence to the ROK in a courteous manner through various opportunities, such as Director-General-level briefing sessions, and observation by a delegation of Korean experts at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in May.
Japan will continue to provide detailed explanations of its position based on scientific evidence in a highly transparent manner to the international community, including China and the ROK, in order to deepen their understanding.
As for your question on next week’s ASEAN-related Foreign Ministers’ Meetings, the arrangements are currently being made, including who will be attending from Japan.