Japan-Republic of Korea Relations
Japan-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
August 24, 2016
On August 24, commencing at around 2:15 p.m. for approximately 50 minutes, Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, held a Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting with Mr. Yun Byung-Se, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the ROK, during his visit to Japan to attend the Japan-China-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. The overview of the meeting is as follows. (From the Japanese side Mr. Yasumasa Nagamine, Ambassador-designate of Japan to the Republic of Korea, Mr. Kenji Kanasugi, Director-General of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau and from the ROK side Mr. Lee Joon-gyu, Ambassador of the ROK to Japan, Mr. Chung Byung-won, Director-General of the Northeast Asian Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and others attended the meeting.)
1. At the beginning of the meeting, Minister Kishida welcomed Minister Yun’s visit to Japan and stated that close coordination between Japan and the ROK and among Japan, the United States, and the ROK is essential in light of the regional security environment, including responses to outstanding issues of concern regarding North Korea, such as the abductions, nuclear and missile issues. In response, Mr. Yun congratulated Minister Kishida on the successful Japan-China-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held on the same day and stated that he would like to move forward with not only bilateral, but also regional and global cooperation.
2. Regarding the agreement on the issue of comfort women reached at the end of last year, Minister Kishida explained that Japan decided at the Cabinet Meeting held on the same day (August 24) to expend one billion yen and strongly requested continuing efforts by the ROK for steady implementation of the Japan-ROK agreement, including the issue of the statue built in front of the Embassy of Japan in Seoul. Both Ministers shared the view to make sincere efforts to implement the agreement. Additionally, both Ministers confirmed that they would cooperate in a variety of fields with a future-oriented perspective.
3. Furthermore, Minister Kishida expressed regret over the recent landing on Takeshima by several ROK parliamentary members, and protested against this incident.
4. Regarding North Korea, Minister Kishida stated that it is not acceptable that North Korea launched a ballistic missile which was considered to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) on the morning of August 24 and that he hopes to cooperate closely with the ROK. He also stated that North Korea’s nuclear and missile issues pose a real threat to Japan’s security and measures to ensure security are imperative. He reiterated Japan’s support for the decision to deploy the THAAD (Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense) system to the U.S. forces in the ROK. The two Ministers shared the view to continue close cooperation between Japan-ROK and among Japan-U.S.-ROK.
5. The two Ministers also exchanged opinions on the issue concerning the South China Sea and shared the view that it is important for all countries to act in a manner based on rules established by the international community.