1. The Director-General for Asian and Pacific Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, Lee Sangryol, visited Tokyo and met with his counterpart, Director-General for Asian and Oceanian Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Takehiro Funakoshi, on September 16.
2. The two directors-general discussed issues of mutual interest.
° They recognized the need to manage the situation on the Korean Peninsula and reaffirmed the importance of cooperation among the ROK, the United States, and Japan and cooperation between the ROK and Japan for the progress of peace process on the Korean Peninsula.
° Director-General Lee said that despite COVID-19, key workers such as businesspeople and international students should be able to travel freely between Korea and Japan under certain conditions and that the relevant measures should be taken as early as possible.
° Director-General Lee explained the Korean government’s position on the issue of “comfort women” victims, the Supreme Court’s ruling on victims of forced labor, as well as its efforts to consult with the victims and organizations supporting them. He stressed the need to speed up the discussion between the ROK and Japan at high-level talks in the future to resolve the pending matters.
° Director-General Lee also conveyed his concern regarding the Japanese government’s decision to release the contaminated water from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station into the ocean and the recent decision made by Japanese textbook publishers to delete or modify the description on the issue of “comfort women” and forced labor.
° Director-General Funakoshi explained the Japanese government’s positions on these issues.
° Director-General Lee made it clear that the Japanese government’s position on Dokdo delivered by Director-General Funakoshi was unacceptable.
3. The two directors-general agreed to continue close communication for future-oriented development of the ROK-Japan relations.