Japan-Republic of Korea Relations

July 7, 2017
Japan-ROK Summit Meeting1 Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office
Japan-ROK Summit Meeting2 Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office

On July 7, commencing at 9:40 a.m. (local time) for approximately 35 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, who was visiting Hamburg, the Federal Republic of Germany, to attend the G20 Summit, held a Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) Summit Meeting with Mr. Moon Jae-in, President of the ROK. The overview of the meeting is as follows. (The meeting was attended on the Japanese side by Mr. Kotaro Nogami, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, Mr. Eiichi Hasegawa, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, Mr. Shotaro Yachi, Secretary-General of the National Security Secretariat, and others, and on the ROK side by Mr. Kim Dong-yeon, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs and Minister of Finance, Dr. Kang Kyung-wha, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and others.)

  1. At the beginning, Prime Minister Abe stated that he intends to build a new, future-oriented Japan-ROK relationship in partnership with President Moon, and hopes to communicate closely with President Moon to advance exchanges and cooperation in all fields, including politics and security, the economy, and culture. Prime Minister Abe explained that for the interests of regional peace and stability, he hopes to further strengthen collaboration on the issues concerning North Korea.
  2. Following that, Prime Minister Abe expressed his view that Japan and the ROK are most important neighbors to each other and share strategic interests, and efforts by Japan and the ROK to pursue cooperation and exchanges in all fields and build a future-oriented relationship will also contribute to the stability and prosperity of the region and the world. Prime Minister Abe also stated that he hopes to strengthen exchanges between regional cities and tourism cooperation in particular, which will lead to an improvement in public sentiment on both sides, and explained that he intends to use next year's PyeongChang Winter Olympics and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as opportunities to invigorate exchanges between the two countries. Prime Minister Abe further stated that he intends to strongly advance exchanges between the young people who will play important roles for the futures of both countries, and Prime Minister Abe and President Moon shared the view that they will pursue a future-oriented Japan-ROK relationship.
  3. With regard to the issues concerning the North Korea problem, Prime Minister Abe stated that at the Japan-U.S.-ROK Trilateral Summit Meeting on July 6, the leaders shared the view that 1) the three countries will work closely together to exert pressure on North Korea, and will also encourage China to fulfill its roles; and 2) Japan and the ROK will coordinate with the United States with regard to imposing sanctions on Chinese companies and other entities. Prime Minister Abe expressed his view that now is the time when the maximum pressure needs to be applied; it is not the time for dialogue. Prime Minister Abe stressed that in order to halt North Korea's nuclear and missile development, it is necessary to restrict North Korea's revenue sources for acquiring foreign currencies. Prime Minister Abe noted that, in order to ensure regional peace and stability, Japan-ROK and Japan-ROK-U.S. security cooperation is important. The two sides confirmed that Japan and the ROK as well as Japan, the ROK and the United States will continue to work closely together.   
  4. With regard to Japan-ROK relations, Prime Minister Abe pointed out that as Japan and the ROK are neighbors, difficult issues exist.  He stated that appropriately managing these difficult issues in order to avoid a negative impact on the overall Japan-ROK relationship is in the common interests of Japan and the ROK. Prime Minister Abe stated that the agreement between Japan and the ROK on the comfort women issue is an indispensable foundation for building a future-oriented Japan-ROK relationship.
  5. At the end of the meeting, the two leaders shared the view that they will continue to communicate closely, and agreed to resume "shuttle diplomacy."

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