Yoon Reiterates Resolve to Improve S. Korea-Japan Ties


Seoul, Aug. 15 (Jiji Press)--South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol reiterated his resolve to improve frayed ties between his country and Japan, at a ceremony Monday to mark the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the Korean Peninsula from Japanese colonial rule.

"We must swiftly and properly improve (South) Korea-Japan relations by upholding the spirit" of the 1998 bilateral partnership declaration, signed by then Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi and then South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, Yoon said in a speech, according to a transcript released by the president's office.

It was the first time for Yoon, who took office in May this year, to deliver a speech for the liberation day ceremony.

In the 1998 document, Obuchi expressed his "deep remorse and heartfelt apology" for tremendous damage and suffering Japan caused to the people of South Korea through the colonial rule. Meanwhile, Kim voiced his hope for the two countries to build a "future-oriented relationship."

In the address, Yoon did not touch on pending bilateral problems, such as the issue regarding Koreans who were requisitioned to work for Japanese companies during World War II. A South Korean Supreme Court order for selling seized assets of a Japanese firm involved is increasingly expected to be finalized soon.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press