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SKorea, Japan enterprise leaders vow to spice up cooperation

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TOKYO — South Korea and Japan ought to collaborate extra on superior know-how, local weather change and financial safety, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol mentioned Friday, wanting forward after the 2 sides agreed to place apart rancor over commerce and historic points.

“I feel there may be loads of room for cooperation between the 2 international locations in future high-tech new industries similar to digital transformation, semiconductors, batteries, and electrical automobiles,” Yoon instructed a gathering in Tokyo of enterprise leaders from each international locations.

“The governments of the 2 international locations will do the whole lot that can assist you work together freely and create revolutionary enterprise alternatives,” Yoon mentioned.

The assembly adopted talks between Yoon and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday that sought to show a web page on the longstanding grievances which have divided the 2 U.S. allies. South Korea and Japan are in search of now to kind a united entrance, pushed by shared issues over North Korea, China and Russia.

Throughout Yoon’s go to, the primary such formal summit hosted by Japan in 12 years, South Korea introduced it was dropping its grievance to the World Commerce Group alleging Japan’s unfair commerce practices, whereas Tokyo mentioned it’s going to elevate the export controls on high-tech items essential for computer-chips manufacturing, imposed in 2019, on shipments to South Korea.

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Yoon Suk Yeol was the visitor of honor on the Tokyo “enterprise round-table” over a lunch of French delicacies attended by a couple of dozen enterprise leaders from each nations.

Reiji Takehara, director of the Worldwide Cooperation Bureau at Keidanren, mentioned the temper was very Positive at Friday’s hour-and-a-half-long assembly, which was closed to media apart from the opening remarks.

“There was loads of laughter, and everybody was pleasant. We didn’t sense even a tiny little bit of stress,” Takehara instructed reporters.

The South Korean group was led by Kim Byong-joon, appearing chairman of the Federation of Korean Industries, the nation’s high enterprise group, who traveled with Yoon. Executives from Samsung Electronics, Hyundai and LG have been additionally a part of the entourage.

Yoon joked about his love for Japanese meals and confused there was “mild on the finish of an extended tunnel” of troubled relations, in line with a Japanese official who briefed reporters after the assembly at Keidanren Kaikan, the headquarters of Japan’s high enterprise foyer.

Challenges stay. A 2018 South Korean Supreme Courtroom resolution ordering monetary compensation from Japanese corporations for compelled labor throughout Tokyo’s 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula targets main Japanese corporations Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Nippon Metal Corp., each members of the Keidanren. Representatives from these corporations didn’t attend Friday’s assembly.

Japan has refused to pay, stressing compensation points have been settled by a 1965 treaty.

Yoon’s announcement that native funds shall be used to compensate the victims, successfully lifting strain on the Japanese corporations, drew protests from those that suffered underneath Japan’s compelled labor system and their advocates. They need funds from Japan and a recent apology.

A shift towards extra cordial ties between Seoul and Tokyo was strongly backed by the U.S. The White Home applauded Kishida and Yoon’s assembly.

“And the US will proceed, after all, to help Japan and the ROK as they take steps to translate this new understanding into enduring progress,” mentioned White Home Nationwide Safety Council spokesman John Kirby.

The Keidanren and the Federation of Korean Trade have arrange a $200 million ($1.5 million) fund to advertise exchanges amongst younger individuals, Takehara mentioned.

For the reason that normalization of relations in 1965, Japan has supplied greater than 100 billion yen ($750 million) in financial cooperation and assist, in line with Japanese estimates.

Commerce between the 2 international locations accounts for not more than 10% of their whole commerce, suggesting there may be room to develop. Regardless of friction on the authorities stage, tourism has boomed, with vacationers from every nation being No. 2 in overseas guests. So have casual cultural exchanges within the type of Ok-pop, anime and manga.

“The goal is to strengthen our partnership for the longer term,” Masakazu Tokura, chairman of Keidanren and Sumitomo Chemical Co., instructed reporters.


Aamer Madhani contributed to this report from Washington.

Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

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