Japan-Republic of Korea Relations

May 26, 2024
Prime Minister KISHIDA Shaking Hands with President YOON of the Republic of Korea (Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)
(Photo) Japan-ROK Summit Meeting (Photo: Cabinet Public Affairs Office)

On May 26, commencing at 4:35 p.m. for approximately 50 minutes, Mr. KISHIDA Fumio, Prime Minister of Japan held a Summit Meeting with H.E. Mr. YOON Suk Yeol, President of the Republic of Korea (ROK) during his visit to Seoul for the Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Summit. The summary of the meeting is as follows.

  1. At the outset, Prime Minister Kishida conveyed his deepest respect and appreciation to President Yoon and the ROK government for their contribution and hospitality in hosting the Japan-China-ROK Trilateral Summit. He stated that he was delighted to return to Seoul after one year, during the season of fresh greenery. The two leaders concurred on continuing their “shuttle diplomacy” and decided to instruct their respective governments to proceed with preparations towards the next year, which marks the 60th anniversary of the normalization of the Japan-ROK relations, in order to further elevate the bilateral relationship to new heights.
  2. Prime Minister Kishida mentioned that since last year, it has become possible for the two governments to engage in deep strategic discussions with one another as partners, in areas such as foreign policy, defense, security, and economic security. The two leaders concurred on continuing with these close bilateral dialogues this year.
  3. The two leaders shared the view on the importance of strengthening people-to-people exchanges among the younger generation who carry the future on their shoulders. Prime Minister Kishida expressed his intention to further expand the Japan-ROK youth exchange program (Japan Friendship Ties Program (JENESYS)), to around 900 participants this fiscal year.
  4. Prime Minister Kishida welcomed that a number of economic dialogues are being held between the two governments and cooperation is being strengthened, citing policy fields such as financial supervision, customs, ICT, tourism promotion, aviation safety, and health and medicine. The two leaders welcomed the steady progress in cooperation in the fields of hydrogen and its derivatives such as ammonia, as well as quantum, which the two leaders had discussed at Stanford University last November. They also welcomed consideration of new cooperation on industrial decarbonization and critical minerals. They concurred on accelerating these movements further. Furthermore, Prime Minister Kishida referred to the fact that tangible projects of the “Future Partnership Fund”, established by Keidaren in tandem with the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), have started, and that Keidaren announced expansion of their funds on May 24th . Both leaders welcomed these positive developments.
  5. The two leaders had a candid exchange of views on the latest situation relating to North Korea and concurred on working closely together bilaterally and trilaterally among Japan, the ROK and the US, including at the UN Security Council, regarding the current situation of serious concern. President Yoon reiterated his support on the immediate resolution of the abductions issue, and the leaders reaffirmed that they would continue to work closely on the human rights issues in North Korea. The two leaders welcomed the progress of Japan-ROK-US cooperation across many fields, following the outcomes of the Japan-ROK-US Summit held last August at Camp David, and decided to enhance it further. They reaffirmed to support a unified Korean Peninsula that is free and at peace as expressed in the joint statements at the trilateral Summit.
  6. The two leaders also exchanged views on other international affairs. Prime Minister Kishida stated that he hoped to see further enhancement of coordination between Japan and the ROK, with a view to maintaining and strengthening the free and open Indo-Pacific, and to addressing global issues effectively, at a time when the international community is at a history’s turning point. Both leaders exchanged views on the Japan-ROK-China trilateral process, and they concurred on holding positive and future-oriented discussions to develop cooperation in this framework in a way that addresses issues of today.
  7. The two leaders affirmed that they would continue to communicate closely with one another, seizing various opportunities including those at international conferences throughout the year.

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