GSOMIA Extension to Improve Ties with Japan: S. Korean Envoy

Politics

Tokyo, Nov. 27 (Jiji Press)--South Korean Ambassador to Japan Nam Gwan-pyo said Wednesday he believes that the extension of the two countries' General Security of Military Information Agreement, or GSOMIA, will be a starting point for the bilateral ties to improve gradually.

At a lecture held in Tokyo by the Research Institute of Japan, a Jiji Press affiliate, Nam expressed hope that a summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, now being arranged for late next month, would serve as an opportunity to boost momentum for better relations. The envoy said he expects the possible summit to be a solid foundation for the new future of the two neighboring countries.

Last Friday, South Korea announced a last-minute decision to effectively extend the military information-sharing pact, reversing its decision in August not to renew it. The latest move came only hours before the scheduled expiration of the GSOMIA at the end of the day following the August decision, which was made amid deteriorating bilateral relations partly reflecting the issue of South Koreans requisitioned to work for Japanese firms during World War II.

Nam said South Korea and Japan should consider creating a system to comprehensively resolve issues related to Korean comfort women, who were forced into prostitution for Japanese troops before and during the war, and Korean victims of the August 1945 U.S. atomic bombings of the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as the wartime labor issue, so that these problems will not affect the bilateral relationship any further.

He added that it is important for both sides to respect and listen to each other through dialogue despite differing opinions, while adhering to the 1965 South Korea-Japan basic treaty, which realized the two countries' diplomatic normalization, and a pact on property and claims, signed along with the treaty, as fundamental frameworks for the bilateral relations.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press