President Yoon Suk Yeol on Friday met former Japanese political leaders to discuss ways to promote cooperation and exchanges in various fields between South Korea and Japan, before he wrapped up a two-day working trip to the neighboring country.
At the meeting, Yoon said his trip to Japan was intended to normalize bilateral relations, stressing that he and his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida, have reaffirmed their shared commitment to open a new era of ties.
Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who is set to become the next president of the Japan-Korea Parliamentarians Federation, said the organization would promote exchanges between Korean and Japanese lawmakers.
Yuko Obuchi, the vice chairperson of the federation and daughter of former Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, acknowledged that this year marks an important milestone for the improvement of Korea-Japan relations. It is the 25th anniversary of the Japan-South Korea joint declaration that was signed by former President Kim Dae-jung and her father in 1998. She said she would continue to make efforts to contribute to vitalizing exchanges in various fields between Korea and Japan, following her father’s will.
Kenta Izumi, leader of the Constitutional Democratic Party, and Natsuo Yamaguchi, leader of the conservative Komeito party, said they highly appreciate Yoon’s sweeping decision and leadership to raise bilateral relations to the next level, and the parliaments of both countries are committed to strengthening cooperation to improve Korea-Japan relations.
Other political leaders in attendance included Fukushiro Nukaga, chairman of the Japan-Korea Parliamentarians' Union, and former Prime Minister Taro Aso.