Japan-Republic of Korea Relations

February 12, 2022
A commemorative photo before Japan-ROK Foreign Ministers' Meeting

On February 12, commencing at noon (local time) (7 a.m. on February 13, Japan time) for around 40 minutes, Mr. HAYASHI Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, who is visiting Honolulu, U.S. to attend the Japan-U.S.-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, held a Japan-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting with H.E. Mr. Chung Eui-yong, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea. The overview of the talk is as follows:

  1. The two Ministers reaffirmed the importance of Japan-ROK and Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation for regional stability, including in dealing with North Korea, and exchanged views on bilateral relations, including issues of concern between the two countries, following the Japan-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Telephone Talk on February 3.
  2. The two Ministers had exchanges in regard to the issue of former civilian workers from the Korean Peninsula (CWKs), the issue of comfort women, as well as other issues between the two countries. In such exchanges, Minister Hayashi stated that Japan-ROK relations continue to be in an extremely difficult situation due to domestic developments in the ROK regarding the issue of CWKs and the issue of comfort women, and then renewed his call for the ROK to take appropriate actions based on Japan’s principled positions on issues between the two countries, including these issues of concern, insisting that the ROK side needs to deal with them with its responsibility. Minister Chung gave explanations based on the ROK’s positions.
  3. The two Ministers also had exchanges in regard to the nomination of "Sado Island Gold Mines" to UNESCO. Minister Hayashi stated that the ROK’s own assertions are unacceptable and regrettable, and once again protested against the ROK side. In addition, Minister Hayashi reiterated its intention that Japan will engage in calm and respectful discussions to ensure that the extraordinary value of "Sado Island Gold Mines" as a cultural heritage will be recognized in the UNESCO arena and will hold discussions in a sincere manner with the ROK side.
  4. The two Ministers also had exchanges with respect to cross-border travel.
  5. The two Ministers shared the view on accelerating consultations and communication through the diplomatic channels in order to restore sound Japan-ROK relations.

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