Extraordinary Press Conference by Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa
Monday, May 9, 2022, 10:35 a.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs: I will visit the Republic of Korea (ROK) as Prime Minister Kishida’s Special Envoy from today to tomorrow so that I could attend the inauguration ceremony of President Yoon Suk-yeol tomorrow and congratulate him. During my stay in the ROK, I plan to exchange views with dignitaries of the ROK government and others. I would like this visit to be an opportunity to restore healthy Japan-ROK relations and engage in close communication with the new administration in the ROK based on Japan’s consistent positions.
Reporter: Regarding the exchange of views with ROK dignitaries, please tell us where you are with the coordination. Specifically, who will you meet with and what is the schedule of the meeting?
Minister Hayashi: At this point, plans for a press conference and the like are being coordinated. Coordination for a courtesy call to President-elect Yoon and a meeting with Mr. Park Jin, who is the nominee for the next ROK Foreign Minister, is underway.
Reporter: You just stated that coordination for meetings with President-elect Yoon and Mr. Park is underway. How will you urge them on the issues related to the history between Japan and the ROK, such as the issue of the former civilian workers from the Korean Peninsula?
Minister Hayashi: Japan-ROK relations are in a very difficult situation due to the issue of the former civilian workers from the Korean Peninsula, the comfort women issue, and other such issues. However, I believe we cannot leave this as it is. To restore healthy Japan-ROK relations, I believe it is important to closely communicate with the new administration, including President-elect Yoon, based on Japan’s consistent position. From this perspective, I would like my visit to the ROK to be an important opportunity to directly convey Japan’s consistent position to the new ROK administration and closely communicate with them.
Reporter: You will visit as Prime Minister Kishida’s Special Envoy. What instructions did you receive from Prime Minister Kishida? Will you bring a personal letter from him?
Minister Hayashi: I have been entrusted with a personal letter from Prime Minister Kishida for my visit to the ROK as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy.