Press "Enter" to skip to content

Japan, South Korea pledge renewed ‘shuttle diplomacy’ after ties reset

Japan and South Korea have announced the end of tit-for-tat trade measures and pledged renewed diplomacy as leaders of the two countries met in Tokyo for a summit to thaw long-frozen ties.  

The neighbours, both key US partners in the region, have for years been locked in a bitter dispute over Japan’s use of wartime forced labour. 

Relations deteriorated after South Korea’s Supreme Court in 2018 ordered Japanese firms to compensate victims of forced labour, but this month Seoul announced a plan to pay those affected without Tokyo’s involvement. 

President Yoon Suk Yeol has been keen to end the spat and form a united front against regional challenges including North Korea, which launched a long-range missile just hours before Yoon’s arrival in Tokyo. 

After talks, he and Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced the resumption of “shuttle diplomacy,” with the leaders agreeing to regular reciprocal visits to build confidence.

South Korea premier arrives in Japan to open ‘new chapter’

Urgent need to strengthen ties

Japanese media said this could include Kishida inviting Yoon to the G7 summit in Hiroshima in May, and then visiting Seoul. 

“Strengthening Japan-South Korea ties in the current strategic environment is urgent,” Kishida told reporters at a joint press conference with Yoon after talks. 

“I hope this visit will nurture trust and friendship and significantly elevate Japan-South Korea relations.” 

Tokyo’s trade ministry said earlier on Thursday it would end restrictions on exports to South Korea of key industrial materials needed for semiconductors, and Seoul said it would withdraw a complaint filed with the World Trade Organization. 

Kishida said both countries wanted stronger deterrence capacities, and that suspended security and ministerial talks would now resume, along with trilateral meetings with China. 

And Yoon said the nations would revive a military intelligence agreement that Seoul paused when relations nosedived.

South Korea plan will help ‘restore healthy ties’ – Japan FM

More from AsiaMore posts in Asia »

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *