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KOR

Press Releases

Foreign Minister Meets with her Japanese Counterpart

Date
2018-04-11
hit
2127

1. On April 11, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha met with Foreign Minister Taro Kono of Japan, who was on a visit to the Republic of Korea. In their meeting, the two top diplomats substantially discussed matters of mutual concern, mainly the ROK-Japan relations as well as nuclear and other issues of North Korea.

 

2. The two Ministers reaffirmed that with the year 2018 significant as the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the “Joint Declaration on a New ROK-Japan Partnership for the 21st Century,” the two countries will work together to enhance the bilateral relations in a future-oriented manner, as discussed at the bilateral summit talks held on February 9 during the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

 

° The two top diplomats agreed to step up communication between the Foreign Ministries of the two countries, including by launching a director-general-level consultation mechanism to draw up a new blueprint of the bilateral ties. 

 

° The two Ministers also agreed to work closely together toward the success of the ROK-Japan-China trilateral summit talks to take place in Japan in May.

 

3. The two Ministers agreed to further increase cooperation in such mutually beneficial areas as economy, culture and people-to people exchanges.

 

° Minister Kang underscored the need to work more closely together in offering young Koreans more job opportunities in Japan and on other economic matters; and in people-related areas, including youth exchanges and immigration matters.  She went on to share with her Japanese counterpart that the ROK Foreign Ministry is mulling over forming a task force to seek ways to boost cultural and people-to-people exchanges with Japan, in response to which Minister Kono expressed expectation on the task force’s work.

 

° Minister Kang urged the Japanese government to take a forward-looking attitude toward an early resumption of the currently stalled bilateral economic consultation and with regard to fisheries negotiations under the ROK-Japan fisheries agreement. Minister Kono responded by voicing hope that those matters will be looked into at the working level.

 

4. The two Ministers agreed to move forward with working-level discussions on historical matters the two countries could work together on, such as the repatriation of remains and rendering support to ethnic Koreans in Sakhalin.

 

° Minister Kono articulated Japan’s position on the ROK-Japan agreement on the “comfort women” issue and Dokdo. Minister Kang explained the ROK’s position on the “comfort women” issue, while making clear that Japan’s claims over Dokdo will never be accepted.

 

5. The two Ministers, taking note of the importance of inter-Korean and US-North Korea summit talks in achieving the goal of the denuclearization and the establishment of a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, agreed to further bolster the already-close communication and cooperation between the ROK and Japan, and among the two countries and the US.

 

° Minister Kang, extending appreciation to the Japanese government for its recent positive message of wish for the success of the forthcoming inter-Korean and US-North Korea summit talks, asked Japan to continue playing a constructive role in the pursuit of a peaceful resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue.

 

° Minister Kono, responding positively to Minister’s remarks, commended the ROK for its leading role in the course of arranging the inter-Korean and US-North Korea summit talks, relaying the Japanese government’s strong hope that the summit talks will be successful and help to achieve tangible progress toward the resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue.

 

6. The meeting, which came as part of robust bilateral communication since the launch of the ROK government in May 2017, is seen to have served as an opportunity for constructive consultation between the two Foreign Ministers, which will help to strengthen their trust-based relationship built through exchanges of visits and communication.

 

° The meeting is also seen to have served as an opportunity to reaffirm the two countries’ commitment to resolving nuclear and other issues of North Korea as well as to enhancing the ROK-Japan relations in a future-oriented way.

 

 

* unofficial translation