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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

South Korean chief of diplomacy visits Japan

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South Korean Foreign Minister Park Dzin is visiting Japan on Monday. He came to Tokyo with a conciliatory message from his country’s new president, Jun Suk Jeola, who hopes to repair bilateral relations. Relations between the two countries have been tarnished by historical, economic and territorial disputes. This is the first visit by the head of South Korean diplomacy to Japan in more than four years, and the first since Jun was elected president of South Korea in May.

On Monday, Park Dzin met in Tokyo with his Japanese counterpart Yoshimasa Hayashi to discuss the issue of compensation disputes for Koreans forced to work for the Japanese occupiers during World War II, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.

The talks were also supposed to concern the bilateral agreement on the sharing of intelligence, which is considered crucial for the joint defense against the threat posed by North Korea. Due to a historical and economic dispute, the former president of South Korea, Mun Dze In, threatened to not extend this agreement in 2019, and since then – it is believed – it has not been fully used.

South Korean Foreign Minister Park Dzin with Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa HayashiREUTERS POOL

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Minister Park will be staying in Japan until Wednesday. He is to meet there, among others with the Prime Minister of this country, Fumio Kishida, and to express his condolences on the death of the former head of the Japanese government Shinzo Abe, who was shot dead by an assassin in July during a political rally.

Tense relations between Seoul and Tokyo

In recent years, the dispute over compensation for forced labor and sexual exploitation of women during World War II also spilled over into the economic plane as Japan imposed restrictions on the export of some key materials to South Korea.

Both countries are also arguing about the islands in the Japanese Sea, which the Koreans call Dokdo and the Japanese – Takeshima.

Main photo source: REUTERS POOL

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