Japan-Republic of Korea Relations

January 23, 2019
Japan-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting 1
Japan-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting 2

On January 23, commencing at around 10 a.m. (local time) for approximately one hour, Mr. Taro Kono, Minister for Foreign Affairs, who is visiting Davos, Swiss Confederation to attend the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, held a Japan-Republic of Korea (ROK) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting with H.E. Dr. Kang Kyung-wha, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the ROK. The overview of the meeting is as follows.

1. Japan-ROK relations

Minister Kono reiterated Japan’s fundamental position on the issue of former civilian workers from the Korean Peninsula and urged the ROK to take appropriate responses. Minister Kono stated that Japan seeks to resolve the issue swiftly at the diplomatic consultations based on the Agreement on the Settlement of Problems concerning Property and Claims and on Economic Co-operation between Japan and the ROK, as recently requested by the Government of Japan to the Government of the ROK.

Minister Kono stated that Japan’s position regarding the radar irradiation incident released on January 21 was final. With regard to the patrol aircraft incident on January 23, Minister Kono noted that the patrol aircraft did not fly at close distance to an ROK naval vessel as advocated by the ROK. Minister Kono stated that the ROK’s announcement made on the same day was regrettable and strongly urged the ROK to respond in a calm and appropriate manner.

The two foreign ministers shared the view that it was important for their diplomatic authorities, including foreign ministers, to continue to engage in closer communication.

2. North Korea issue

With regard to the issue of North Korea, the two foreign ministers exchanged views on the future policy towards the success of the upcoming second U.S.-North Korea Summit Meeting. The two foreign ministers then confirmed that Japan and the ROK, and Japan, the ROK and the United States will continue to work closely together towards the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

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