Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi's Visit to the Republic of Korea

March 17, 1999

1. Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi is scheduled to visit the Republic of Korea from Friday, March 19 to Sunday, March 21 upon the invitation of R.O.K President Kim Dae-jung, pending approval by the National Diet of Japan. The visit will be the first by a Japanese Prime Minister to the Republic of Korea in five years.

2. The Japan-Republic of Korea Joint Declaration issued during President Kim's visit to Japan in October 1998 called for even closer consultation and dialogue between the leaders and cabinet ministers of the two countries. This has produced a series of meetings among the leaders and ministers of Japan and the Republic of Korea since November 1998. The realization of a visit to the Republic of Korea by Prime Minister Obuchi at an early date is extremely significant from the viewpoint of demonstrating the closer, friendlier ties between Japan and the Republic of Korea.

3. The main issues that the two leaders are expected to exchange views on at their summit meeting are the future of the bilateral relationship and policies toward North Korea.

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