FOCUS: Hope, Caution Mixed in Japan on Improving Ties with S. Korea

Politics

Tokyo, April 27 (Jiji Press)--Hopes for improving strained relations between Tokyo and Seoul drove Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to meet with a delegation from South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol. Also, however, caution lingers in Tokyo.

The focus is now on whether Kishida will visit South Korea to attend Yoon's inauguration ceremony, to be held in May.

Kishida's meeting with the delegation on Tuesday, which took place despite caution within Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, started in a friendly mood with a member of the mission handing a personal letter from Yoon to Kishida.

"There is no time to waste in improving Japan-South Korea ties," Kishida said, pinning high hopes on the incoming South Korean administration. At the same time, the Japanese leader said, "Resolving pending matters is necessary for this," urging Seoul to take action.

According to South Korea's Yonhap news agency, Chung Jin-suk, deputy speaker of the country's National Assembly, who heads the delegation, told reporters after the meeting that trust between the two countries is of utmost importance. Referring to the wartime labor issue, the biggest pending problem between the two East Asian neighbors, Chung indicated his readiness to work hard to resolve it.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press