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Japanese prime minister to visit South Korea


Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will travel to Seoul on Sunday and Monday for talks with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol,...

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will travel to Seoul on Sunday and Monday for talks with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, the governments of the two countries confirmed on Tuesday, amid warming relations.

This will be the first visit by a Japanese Prime Minister to South Korea since 2018. It will follow the meeting between MM.

Kishida and Yoon in Tokyo in mid-March, when the two neighboring countries decided to lift mutual trade restrictions.

Historical litigation

Their bilateral relations had soured in recent years against a background of historical disputes dating back to the Japanese colonization of the Korean peninsula (1910-1945), such as the so-called question of Korean "comfort


", these sexual slaves of Japanese soldiers during the World War II, and Korean forced laborers from Japanese companies.

But the leaders of the two countries, close allies of Washington, are now trying to get closer again, against the backdrop of common regional challenges such as China and North Korea.

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the South Korean presidency have both confirmed Mr. Kishida's next visit, the preparations for which had been mentioned a few hours earlier by the Japanese Prime Minister himself during a trip to Ghana.

His visit to Seoul, before the summit of the leaders of the G7 countries scheduled for May 19 to 21 in Hiroshima (western Japan), is "

a good opportunity for a frank exchange of views on the acceleration of relations between Japan and South Korea and the rapidly changing international situation

,” he told reporters.

New diplomatic momentum

Mr. Kishida said he hoped that this visit would give new impetus to the “

shuttle diplomacy

” between the two countries, a mechanism of regular meetings between their leaders interrupted since December 2011 and that MM.

Kishida and Yoon agreed in March to resume.


With Prime Minister Kishida's visit to South Korea, the shuttle diplomacy between the two leaders will begin in earnest

," the South Korean presidential office said in a statement.

Japanese-Korean relations soured after a 2018 South Korean court ruling ordering Japanese companies to pay compensation for forced labor during the Japanese occupation.

But Seoul presented a plan in early March to compensate South Koreans who were subjected to it, without financial participation from Tokyo.

Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Meti) announced last week that it had begun the process of re-listing South Korea to a so-called "white


list of trusted trading partners, after the having withdrawn in 2019.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-05-02

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