Japan-Republic of Korea Relations
Japan-ROK Summit Meeting
On September 7, commencing at 9:35 a.m. (local time) for approximately 50 minutes, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, who was visiting Vladivostok, the Russian Federation, to attend the Eastern Economic Forum, held a Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) Summit Meeting with H.E. Mr. Moon Jae-in, President of the ROK. The overview is as follows.
- At the beginning, Prime Minister Abe expressed that he was pleased to meet President Moon again following their meeting in July, and build a relationship in which the two leaders can exchange views with one another on various current issues, through three telephone talks with President Moon last month (August) as well as a telephone talk with him on September 4 after North Korea’s nuclear test. Prime Minister Abe stated that the series of provocative actions by North Korea constitutes an unprecedented, grave and serious threat. Prime Minister Abe noted that Japan and the ROK as well as Japan, the ROK and the United States have been coordinating their efforts and collaborating closely thus far, and he hopes to continue to strengthen cooperation. Prime Minister Abe also stated that he intends to pursue cooperation and exchanges in a broad range of fields in order to build a new, future-oriented Japan-ROK relationship.
- Additionally, with regard to the North Korea, Prime Minister Abe explained that following the nuclear test conducted in the same week, the entire international community will further intensify pressure on North Korea, and Japan and the ROK, and Japan, the ROK and the United States need to make the best use of this momentum by pursuing initiatives that apply a new level of pressure. Prime Minister Abe stated that security and defense cooperation among Japan, the ROK and the United States continues to be important for dealing with North Korea’s challenges. The two leaders shared the view on the current severe situation, and also concurred that now is the time to apply maximum pressure, including by seeking powerful United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. President Moon mentioned that the ROK shares a border with North Korea, and anxiety among the ROK’s citizens is high. The two leaders shared the recognition that it is important to increase pressure now, and confirmed that Japan and the ROK and Japan, the ROK and the United States will continue to work closely together, including by seeking more powerful UNSC resolutions and encouraging the involvement of China and Russia.
- With regard to Japan-ROK relations, Prime Minister Abe explained Japan’s position on the “requisition of civilians” issue and the comfort women issue, and stated that he hopes to manage difficult issues appropriately. Furthermore, Prime Minister Abe explained that by building a future-oriented relationship, Japan and the ROK will contribute to regional and global stability and prosperity, and stated that in addition to politics, security and the economy, he intends to strengthen people-to-people exchanges in areas such as youth exchanges and tourism cooperation, by which he wants to improve national sentiment on both sides.
- At the end of the meeting the two leaders confirmed they will continue to hold frank exchanges of views with each other.