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Press Conference by Minister Nishimura (Excerpt)

*Note: This is a provisional translation for reference purposes only.

8:34-8:40 a.m.
Tuesday, February 21, 2023
First floor lobby, Annex to the House of Representatives

Opening Remarks

"Discover the Charms!" Sanriku Joban Mono Network

I would like to say one thing at the start.
The decommissioning of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and reconstruction of Fukushima are the most important challenges facing METI. In particular, we will do our utmost to suppress harmful rumors regarding the release of the ALPS treated water into the sea, which is expected to take place this spring or summer. To that end, we launched an initiative called "Discover the Charms!" Sanriku Joban Mono Network at the end of last year.
I personally have called on executives of the business community to join this network and increase the consumption of products from Sanriku and Joban, and there are currently more than 850 companies participating.
As part of this network's efforts, Sanriku Joban Week will be held from February 23 to March 24, including March 11. We also aim to greatly increase consumption of products from Sanriku and Joban in cafeterias of participating companies, and through sales of boxed lunches at various ministries and agencies. We will communicate the appeal of those products, so that our efforts lead to a continuous increase in consumption. Again, we will do our utmost to prevent any harmful rumors regarding the release of the ALPS treated water into the sea.

Question-and-Answer Session

Trade Control

Q: The other day, the foreign ministers of Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) met in Germany and discussed the issue of wartime laborers. Regarding this issue, I believe that the ROK has been asking Japan to address the issue of trade control. Please tell us how METI intends to address trade control issues between Japan and the ROK in the future.

A: Regarding export controls to the ROK, our principle is to comprehensively evaluate the situation regarding export controls through policy dialogs between Japan and the ROK's export control authorities, and to ascertain the effectiveness of such controls. The review of the export control operations for the ROK, which was announced in July 2019, was conducted from a security viewpoint, so it is completely unrelated to the laborer issue.
On the other hand, a panel was set up by the WTO dispute settlement body in July 2020 at the request of the ROK. Because of that, it is difficult to hold a policy dialog between Japan and the ROK. In order to resolve this issue, it is necessary for the ROK to stop the WTO process that it initiated.
In any case, regarding relations between Japan and the ROK, the leaders of both countries have agreed to seek an early resolution of these matters of concern. Regarding the export controls, we will first ask the ROK to take appropriate measures.

Last updated:2023-03-01