QUESTION: So during this process, American ? the United States made some pressure on Japanese Government to,
I mean, make this happen, right? So --
MR TONER: So very clear on that point, this was a process that was initiated, led by the two governments.
The United States has been very clear all along, remains clear, that we supported this process.
And that support was conveyed at a variety of levels, from Secretary of State Kerry, from the President,
on down to lower levels of our government.
Daily Press Briefing - December 28, 2015
MR TONER: South Korea? でページ内検索してから
QUESTION: South --
MR TONER: South Korea?
QUESTION: Yeah, the comfort women issue.
MR TONER: Sure.
QUESTION: As you mentioned, Japan and South Korea just have reached agreement over comfort women issue.
MR TONER: Yeah.
QUESTION: Japanese Government will give about U.S. $8.3 million to fund who those suffered during Second World War. But it seems some people, some victims are not satisfied with that. Comfort woman called Lee Yong-soo requested Japan’s damages for war crime rather than conciliatory compensation. So how does the United States make sure that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s right-wing politicians and advisors will not damage the agreement by provocative statements in future?
MR TONER: Sure. Well, again, these are issues – and as I said at the top of the briefing, we certainly applaud the efforts of both governments to reach this agreement. It was not an easy thing to achieve and took, as I said, courage, hard work, perseverance on both sides to come to an agreement. I’m aware, as we all are, that there are continued grievances, people who feel aggrieved, even with this agreement. That’s really for the Government of South Korea working with its own citizens, those affected by these events, to work with them to address their concerns. And certainly on the same – in answer to your question, in response to your question, it’s incumbent on the Government of Japan to sell this agreement or to convince the Japanese people that this agreement in is in the best interests of Japan.
QUESTION: So historians’ estimate is up to 200,000 comfort women during Second World War. They are not only from South Korea but also from maybe China, Philippines, other countries around the world. So do you think Japan should have the same kind of attitude towards them or kind of same kind of apology to these other countries’ comfort women?
MR TONER: Sure. Again, that’s – this is an important agreement, a significant step forward in addressing some of these, as I said, very sensitive historical issues. We’ve stated many times – the United States – that the trafficking of women for sexual purposes by the Japanese military during World War II was a terrible, egregious violation of human rights. We do believe this agreement today will help promote healing and help improve relations certainly between Japan and the Republic of Korea, and we believe that that will help address again some of these ongoing --
MR TONER: I’m just saying, let me finish. So that’s going to help – I apologize. I didn’t mean to interrupt you, but I’m just trying to finish my answer, which is: Does this agreement answer all of the remaining grievances? No. In the region? No. It’s an important step forward, though, and it’s an important step forward by Japan.
QUESTION: So what other things Japan should do next, you mean, to --
MR TONER: -- attempt to tell Japan or the Japanese Government what it should do next. It’s an important agreement today. It’s a step forward. It’s up to Japan to address the way forward from here.
QUESTION: So during this process, American – the United States made some pressure on Japanese Government to, I mean, make this happen, right? So --
MR TONER: So very clear on that point, this was a process that was initiated, led by the two governments. The United States has been very clear all along, remains clear, that we supported this process. And that support was conveyed at a variety of levels, from Secretary of State Kerry, from the President, on down to lower levels of our government. But certainly, it was a consistent message that we believe this was a worthwhile process to pursue and one that would ultimately help alleviate tension and create a better environment in the future between, as I said, two of our most important allies.
QUESTION: Can I follow up on that?
MR TONER: Yeah, sure.
QUESTION: Yes. So in terms of selling the deal, it seems pretty significant that the victims themselves have already – some of the victims, at least, have come out and spoken against the deal. Isn’t it a concern that the two governments are not including the actual victims in these negotiations or these discussions?
MR TONER: Again, I think it’s for the governments – and these are two democracies – it’s for them to address, as we would here in the United States in a similar situation attempt to address the concerns of our own citizens and hear their concerns and listen to them and try to respond to them. That’s part of the democratic process. So I’m not going to speak on behalf of the Japanese or the Korean Government in terms of what they need to do to address their own citizens’ concerns on both sides of this issue. And I’m aware that this is, as I said, a very sensitive historical issue and that this agreement will not necessarily answer or appease everyone’s concerns going forward; but that said, we do support this agreement as a way forward to heal this wound.