PMs of Korea, Japan discuss mending strained ties, stress communication
Oct. 25, 2019
Global Korean Post
By Kim Eun-young and Lee Hana
Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, during a visit to Japan to attend the enthronement ceremony for the new Japanese emperor, on Oct. 24 stressed to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo the need to mend strained bilateral ties and underscored the importance of communication.
The two prime ministers held talks for around 20 minutes, according to Korean Vice Foreign Minister Cho Sei-young, who briefed the media on the details of the meeting from a press center in Tokyo.
Lee and Abe agreed that the two neighboring countries can no longer leave their strained relations unsettled and emphasized the need to continue diplomatic dialogue while encouraging people-to-people exchanges. They also concurred that bilateral cooperation between Seoul and Tokyo and trilateral cooperation among Korea, Japan and the U.S. are crucial in tackling the North Korean issue.
On the issue of Korean victims of forced labor by Japan, Abe maintained his stance that an agreement between countries should be kept.
In response Lee said, “Just like Japan, Korea has complied with the bilateral 1965 Treaty on Basic Relations and the Claims Settlement Agreement, and will do so in the future. I believe that we can overcome hardships by putting our heads together.”
Also in the meeting, Lee delivered President Moon Jae-in’s letter to Abe saying the president hopes for an early resolution to bilateral tensions. Lee congratulated the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito and the start of a new Japanese era while also giving his condolences to the victims affected by Typhoon Hagibis.
Abe thanked President Moon for sending condolences to the Japanese people affected by the typhoon.