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KOR

Press Releases

Foreign Minister Meets with her Japanese Counterpart

Date
2017-12-19
hit
2687

1. During her visit to Japan on December 19 and 20, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha met with Foreign Minister Taro Kono of Japan on December 19, during which the two top diplomats engaged in a thorough exchange of views on matters of mutual concern -- mainly, the Republic of Korea-Japan relations as well as nuclear and other issues of North Korea.

2. Minister Kang stressed that despite issues between the ROK and Japan in 2017, the Moon Jae-in government, since its launch, has sought to communicate frequently with the Japanese government at various levels; to manage thorny issues between the two countries in a stable manner; and to advance the bilateral partnership in a future-oriented and mature way.

° Minister Kono suggested that despite outstanding thorny issues between them, the two countries, while properly managing those issues, move their relations forward in a future-oriented way.

3. The two Ministers agreed to step up communication at various levels and to further expand bilateral cooperation in a bid to develop the bilateral ties in a future-oriented manner.

° Minister Kang asked the Japanese government to positively consider Prime Minister Abe’s visit to the ROK during the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. In addition, she voiced hope that Minister Kono will visit the ROK in the near future to step up communication between the Foreign Ministers of the two countries.

° Minister Kono, mentioning the Japanese government’s plan to mull over the possibility of Prime Minister Abe’s visit to the ROK, suggested that consultations be held to seek ways for his own visit to the country to materialize in the near future.

° The two Ministers agreed to work closely together to hold a Japan-hosted ROK-Japan-China summit as soon as possible.

° As a way to further beef up the already-close communication between them, the two top diplomats agreed to set up a round-the-clock contact system.

4. The two Ministers, in a bid to advance the bilateral ties in a future-oriented manner, agreed to seek tangible progress in bilateral cooperation across the board, including economy, culture and people-to-people exchanges, as discussed by the leaders of the two countries at their meeting in Vladivostok on September 7.

° In particular, the two top diplomats, recognizing the need to take the bilateral relations a notch higher on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the bilateral “Joint Declaration: A New ROK-Japan Partnership towards the Twenty-first Century” in 2018, agreed to hold on a regular basis and put in high gear the bilateral director-general-level consultation to review outstanding bilateral issues and discuss ways to achieve tangible progress in cooperation in diverse sectors.

° In addition, the two Ministers agreed to explore specific ways to work together on job creation for the young, including increasing the number of young Koreans working for Japanese companies; and to hold working-level meetings on the proposed revision of the bilateral social security agreement for an improved convenience of the two countries’ nationals.

5. Minister Kang briefly shared with her Japanese counterpart the progress in the work of the ROK “taskforce for the review of the ROK-Japan agreement on the ‘comfort women’ issue.”

° Minister Kang urged the Japanese government to promptly and thoroughly implement follow-up measures regarding the inscription of Japan’s Meiji industrial sites on the World Heritage List.

° The Minister added that the two countries, while working on the “comfort women” issue and follow-up measures regarding the inscription of Japan’s Meiji industrial sites on the World Heritage List, should make joint efforts to develop their relations into a future-oriented mature partnership.

° The two Ministers agreed to continue consultations on the “comfort women” issue as well as working-level meetings on follow-up measures regarding the inscription of Japan’s Meiji industrial sites on the World Heritage List.

° The two top diplomats agreed to move working-level discussions forward on history-related matters on which the two countries could work together, such as the repatriation of human remains and assistance to ethnic Koreans in Sakhalin.

6. The two Ministers shared with each other assessments of the graver security situation on the Korean Peninsula in the wake of North Korea’s recent launch of a ballistic missile; reaffirmed the shared goal of “a peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue”; and agreed to enforce tough sanctions and put pressure on the North, while continuing diplomatic efforts to induce the North to denuclearization talks.

° In addition, the two Ministers agreed to coordinate closely in enhancing the effectiveness of the international sanctions against the North and to manage the current situation in a stable manner.

7. The ROK-Japan Foreign Ministers’ meeting, which came during Minister Kang’s first visit to Japan since her inauguration, is seen to have taken to the next level the bilateral trust built through frequent communication between the top diplomats of the two countries.

° In addition, the meeting is seen to have served as an opportunity to draw up specific ways to coordinate on North Korean issues under grave circumstances on the Korean Peninsula, as well as specific measures to step up substantive cooperation and thereby to develop the bilateral partnership in a future-oriented and mature manner.


* unofficial translation