Japan-Republic of Korea Relations

August 12, 2016

On August 12, commencing at around 5:45 p.m. for approximately 30 minutes, Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs, held a telephone talk with Mr. Yun Byung-se, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea (ROK). The overview of the talk is as follows.

1. At the beginning, Minister Yun congratulated Minister Kishida on his reappointment. Minister Kishida expressed his gratitude and stated that he hopes to continue to work together with Minister Yun.

2. Minister Yun explained the ROK side’s efforts with regard to the agreement on the issue of comfort women reached at the end of last year, including the establishment of the foundation at the end of July. In response, Minister Kishida expressed his intention to carry forward the procedures required to provide the funding of 1 billion yen promptly, based on a certain progress which has been made through Director-General level talks with regard to what sorts of projects the funds from the Government of Japan will be used for, and strong reassurance through today’s telephone talk that the Government of the ROK will sincerely implement the Japan-ROK agreement. In addition, Minister Kishida confirmed that the funds will be used as agreed by the Governments of Japan and the ROK, after the foundation surveys the needs of the former comfort women or their families. He also requested that the ROK side continue making efforts to implement the agreement, including with regard to the issue of the statue in front of the Embassy of Japan in Seoul. Both ministers shared the view that they will continue to faithfully implement the Japan-ROK agreement.

3. Furthermore, Minister Kishida raised the issue of Takeshima, mentioning the recent visit to Takeshima by Mr. Moon Jae-in, former leader of The Minjoo Party of Korea.

4. With regard to North Korea’s nuclear and missile issues, Minister Kishida stated that it was an unforgivable provocation of an even more escalated level that North Korea recently launched ballistic missiles and one of the missiles fell in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and the two ministers shared the view that close Japan-ROK and Japan-US-ROK cooperation will continue.

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