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PM Meets Kishida as Seoul Tries to Save Frayed Relations with Tokyo

Written: 2022-09-28 13:42:29Updated: 2022-09-28 14:03:04

PM Meets Kishida as Seoul Tries to Save Frayed Relations with Tokyo

Photo : YONHAP News

Anchor: Seoul is seeking to mend frayed relations with Tokyo over wartime issues. The South Korean deputy head of government, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, paid a courtesy call to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida a day after the state funeral of former Japanese leader Shinzo Abe. The two sides discussed the wartime forced labor issue during the meeting. 
Kim Bum-soo has more.

Report: South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo sat down with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo on Wednesday as the two sides seek to salvage their strained relations.
Han visited Tokyo to attend former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s state funeral the day before.
[Sound bite: Prime Minister Han Duck-soo(Korean/English)]
"It was nice to see you at the reception yesterday and again today. Once again, I would like to express my deep condolences for Prime Minister Abe's death. I heard that there was damage to western Japan due to the typhoon last week. I hope it will be restored as soon as possible under the leadership of Prime Minister Kishida."
[Sound bite: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida(Japanese/English)] 
"Upon the passing of former Prime Minister Abe, I received a lot of respectful condolences from President Yoon, you, the Prime Minister, and many other people of South Korea. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude again."
During his 20-minute meeting with Kishida, the deputy head of the South Korean government discussed the wartime forced labor issue which made the Seoul-Tokyo relations plunge to their worst in decades. 

[Sound bite: Prime Minister Han Duck-soo(Korean/English)] 
"South Korea and Japan are close neighbors and cooperative partners who share the values of democracy and the principles of the market economy. Also, young people from both countries want to understand each other."
Following the meeting, a key South Korean foreign ministry official told reporters that the two sides did not discuss specific solutions to the wartime forced labor issue but agreed on the need to solve the problem.

Seoul-Tokyo relations went sour in 2018 following a Seoul court ruling that ordered Japanese companies to compensate the Korean victims of wartime forced labor. 
Wednesday’s meeting came after South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s brief talks with Kishida in New York last week. That was the first meeting between the leaders of South Korea and Japan in almost three years.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.

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