Japan-Republic of Korea Summit Meeting at the ASEAN+3 Summit Meeting

8 October 2003

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, on his visit to Bali, Indonesia to attend the ASEAN+3 Summit Meeting, held a Japan-Republic of Korea summit meeting between President Roh Moo Hyun of the Republic of Korea (ROK) in the morning of 8 October for about one hour. The following is an overview of the meeting.

1. North Korean Issue

(1) Nuclear Issues

(a) Prime Minister Koizumi stated that cooperation among Japan, the United States and the ROK is most crucial for the continuation of the six-party talks process, ant that Japan would nonchalantly deal with provocative announcements made by North Korea.

(b) President Roh stated that, reflecting on the recent six-party talks, all major players must make diplomatic efforts for the holding of the next round and for the progress of the dialogue while continuing to keep a close attention on the North Korean situation.
Regarding the statement made by a North Korean "Foreign Ministry" spoksperson in which North Korea made clear its position to reject Japan's participation in future multi-lateral talks on the nuclear issue, President Roh noted that Japanese participation in the six-party talks was essential.

(c) Both leaders agreed on the need for Japan, the ROK and the US to continue to work very closely with each other and cooperate with China and Russia with a view to making possible an early holding of the next round of the six-party talks in a meaningful way.

(2) Issues between Japan and North Korea including the abduction issue

(a) Prime Minister Koizumi expressed his appreciation to President Roh for his support to Japan's position to comprehensively resolve the abduction issue and the security issues including nuclear issues and realize the normalization of diplomatic relations based on the Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration. Prime Minister Koizumi asked for the continuous understanding and cooperation of the ROK on resolving the abduction issue.

(b) In response, President Roh expressed his understanding for the position of Japan regarding this issue and expressed his hope for a prompt solution.

2. Japan-ROK Relations

(1) At the opening statement, Prime Minister Koizumi noted as follows.
The visit by President Roh to Japan in June was a great success. A strong impression of the determination of President Roh towards strengthening the Japan-ROK relations was left on the people of Japan through his consistently future-oriented message. The bilateral relations between the two countries have strengthened through the successful joint hosting of the 2002 FIFA World Cup and the Year of Japan-ROK National Exchange. Exchanges are conducted at various levels from the grassroots to the government. It is welcomed that the ROK has decided on the fourth opening of Japanese culture. Regarding the visa issues, efforts will be made for a resolution which will be agreeable to both countries.

(2) In response, President Roh noted as follows.
The Japan-ROK relations are at its best state as never seen in the past. Japan and the ROK will both continue its efforts to ensure the steady progress of their cooperation as announced in the Japan-Republic of Korea Summit Joint Statement.

(3) Both leaders agreed that there is a need to show that close Japan-ROK relations will lead to the peace, stability and prosperity of the international community.

3. Others

(1) Situation in Iraq
In response to the question from President Roh, Prime Minister Koizumi explained Japan's efforts for the reconstruction assistance for Iraq, including the issue of dispatching the Self Defense Forces (SDF) into Iraq.

(2) Joint Declaration on the Promotion of Tripartite Cooperation among Japan, the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Korea
Regarding the joint declaration which was issued on 7 October, President Roh noted that it is the new starting point of the tripartite cooperation among Japan, China and the ROK. The ROK hopes for a construction of a cooperative relation appropriate to the new era without being constricted by the past. In response, Prime Minister Koizumi expressed his consent and noted that Japan hopes to build up further cooperation among Japan, China and the ROK for the future.

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