Japan PM praises SKorea leader; biz groups vow to boost ties

Tokyo March 18 dmanewsdesk: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said hats off to South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol for “making a difficult decision and action” by overcoming the troubled history between the two countries, pledging to work with him toward better future relations.  “I want to express my heartfelt respect to President Yoon for making a difficult decision and action by overcoming various (troubled) background and history between the neighbours Japan and South Korea,” Kishida told a news conference on Friday, one day after the two leaders held talks in their first formal summit hosted by Japan in 12 years. The two sides seek to turn the page on the longstanding row that has divided the United States allies and form a united front driven by shared concerns over North Korea and Russia. During Thursday’s talks, the two leaders agreed to make the Japan-South Korea summit a start in resuming their “shuttle diplomacy” of regular visits, which had stalled since 2011.

 They also agreed to resume defense and security dialogues, and Yoon ensured full cooperation in military intelligence sharing, which Seoul had previously threatened to stop.

South Korea announced it was dropping its complaint to the World Trade Organisation alleging Japan’s unfair trade practices, while Tokyo said it will lift the export controls imposed since 2019 on shipments to South Korea of high-tech goods crucial for computer-chips production.

After Thursday’s summit, Kishida escorted Yoon out to Tokyo’s posh Ginza district to treat him with his favourite dishes, including “sukiyaki” beef stew, over Japanese sake and beer.“Last night I had great time drinking with him,” Kishida said, adding they also talked about their private life, which he said would help fostering trust on personal levels.

 “I hope we can push forward relations of our countries based on trust between the leaders.”  On Friday in Tokyo, Yoon told a gathering of business leaders from South Korea and Japan that the two sides should collaborate more on advanced technology, climate change and economic security.

 “I think there is a lot of room for cooperation between the two countries in future high-tech new industries such as digital transformation, semiconductors, batteries, and electric vehicles,” Yoon said. “The governments of the two countries will do everything to help you interact freely and create innovative business opportunities.”

 Yoon was the guest of honour at the Tokyo business roundtable over a lunch of French cuisine, attended by about a dozen business leaders from both nations.

Source: The Pioneer