Japan-Republic of Korea Relations

January 16, 2018
On the morning of January 16, Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held a breakfast meeting with H.E. Dr. Kang Kyung-wha, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea (ROK). The overview of the meeting is as follows.

1 North Korea

The two ministers exchanged views on the recent situation of North Korea, including the outcomes of the North-South High Level Officials’ Meeting. The two ministers reaffirmed that Japan and the ROK will maximize pressure, in order to corner North Korea to demonstrate its serious will and concrete actions towards denuclearization, and they shared the view to take a coordinated approach based on this idea in the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula. In addition, Minister Kono and Minister Kang concurred that they will continue to work closely together through Japan-ROK and Japan-ROK-US cooperation, to respond to the issue of North Korea, including future inter-Korean dialogues.

2 Japan-ROK relations

(1) The two ministers shared the view that though difficult issues exist between the two countries, they will cooperate to ensure that the Japan-ROK relationship will move forward in a future-oriented manner, while managing these issues appropriately.

(2) Furthermore, Minister Kang explained the position of the Government of the ROK on the comfort women issue. In response, Minister Kono stated that it is completely unacceptable that the ROK would seek additional measures from Japan, despite the confirmation in the Japan-ROK agreement that the comfort women issue is "finally and irreversibly" resolved. Minister Kono said that Japan will not respond to such consultations and strongly urged the ROK Government to steadily implement the agreement.

(3) In addition, Minister Kono conveyed Japan's position on the issue of the "requisitioned civilians." In particular, he strongly requested that the ROK Government take appropriate measures in response to recent developments related to the installing of Korean laborer statues in front of Japanese diplomatic missions and other locations.

(4) The issue of Takeshima was also briefly raised.

3 Other

Minister Kang invited Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, to visit the ROK during the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, to which Minister Kono explained that the visit will be considered based on the schedule of the Diet and other factors. The two ministers also shared the view to work together towards holding a Japan-ROK-China Summit Meeting at an early date.

Back to Japan-Republic of Korea Relations