Japan-Republic of Korea Summit Meeting (Summary)

July 22, 2004

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi held a summit meeting with President Roh Moo Hyun of the Republic of Korea (ROK) during his visit to the ROK from July 21 to 22. The following is a summary of the meeting.

1. Japan-Republic of Korea Summit Meeting (July 21)

(1) Japan-ROK Relations

(a) Exchanges between Japan and the ROK, and "Japan-Korea Friendship Year 2005"

(i) Prime Minister Koizumi told President Roh that the Korean TV drama series "Winter Sonata" has gained major popularity, becoming something of a social phenomenon in Japan. In response, President Roh stated that Japanese culture is also being accepted without much resistance in the ROK, as a result of the opening to Japanese culture that is being advanced by the ROK government. Prime Minister Koizumi responded by requesting this policy be expanded to remaining areas, such as animation.

(ii) The two leaders concurred that there is major significance in implementing a wide range of exchange programs next year on the occasion of "Japan-Korea Friendship Year 2005", which commemorates the 40th anniversary of the normalization of relations between Japan and the ROK.

(iii) Prime Minister Koizumi noted that the annual number of tourists between Japan and the ROK stood at 10,000 people 40 years ago, whereas the same number of people now travel between the two countries in a day. Prime Minister Koizumi gained the support of President Roh as he expressed his intention to further promote exchanges in all areas including sports, arts and culture.

(b) Waiving of visa requirements for ROK citizens

Prime Minister Koizumi announced that timed to coincide with the 2005 World Exposition, Aichi, for a period from March to September next year, visa requirements for ROK citizens would be temporarily waived, and that based on the results of the limited period test, consideration would be given to the permanent waiving of visa requirements.

(c) Japan-ROK Free Trade Agreement (FTA)

Prime Minister Koizumi stated he would strive for the early conclusion of the Japan-ROK Free Trade Agreement (FTA), to which President Roh remarked that he too intended to speed up the process and is currently engaging in domestic efforts to that end. Both leaders reaffirmed that they would aim for finishing the negotiation of the FTA by the end of next year.

(d) Japan-ROK Agreement regarding Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters

Prime Minister Koizumi and President Roh welcomed the fact that, in substance, an agreement has been reached.

(e) Japan-ROK Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters

The two leaders agreed to start negotiations towards the conclusion of this Treaty.

(f) International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER)

Prime Minister Koizumi gained confirmation that the ROK will give its support for a decision for the ITER to be established in Japan.

(g) Issues of the past

(i) Prime Minister Koizumi stated that the responsibility of the people living in the present is to find a way to develop future-oriented relations with their neighboring countries by squarely facing and reflecting on their history.

(ii) Regarding the process of solving issues of the past, President Roh stated at the joint press conference that it is a fact that there are some issues that are yet to be resolved, and that it is inappropriate, however, for the ROK government to officially demand the settlement of those issues. He continued by sharing his belief that, as the differences in perceptions between the peoples of Japan and the ROK are narrowed through active private-sector exchanges and their shared views are expanded, then with this as a foundation, the two governments would be able to hold dialogues at a new level.

(2) Situation in North Korea

(a) Prime Minister Koizumi gave an account of his visit to North Korea on May 22 to President Roh and stated that he obtained confirmation from the North Korean side that the Pyongyang Declaration will be sincerely carried out. He then explained Japan's stance is that first the normalization of Japan-North Korea relations must take place on the grounds that nuclear, missile and abduction issues are comprehensively resolved based on the Pyongyang Declaration and then economic cooperation could be provided.

(b) With regard to the nuclear issue of North Korea, in realizing progress toward the next round of Six-Party Talks, Prime Minister Koizumi and President Roh reaffirmed the importance of Japan, the United States and the ROK advancing coordination under the common objective of complete dismantlement of nuclear programs by North Korea. Furthermore, the two leaders also concurred that it is crucial to prevail upon China for assistance in this matter also.

(3) Cooperation in the East Asian Region

Prime Minister Koizumi and President Roh agreed to cooperate for the development of open and friendly relations in Northeast Asia in the future as well as to promote cooperative relations among Japan, the ROK and China. In addition to this, both leaders acknowledged the importance for Japan and the ROK, which share basic values, to take the initiative in regional cooperation in East Asia and to closely work together in formulating an open community.

2. Dinner Reception Hosted by President Roh Moo Hyun (July 21)

(a) Japan-ROK Relations (Summit Meeting)

Prime Minister Koizumi and President Roh agreed to hold summit meetings as needed to continue developing the friendly relations between Japan and the ROK. Arrangements are being made to hold the next summit meeting in Japan before the end of the year, at a hot spring resort.

(b) Cooperation for Reconstruction Assistance to Iraq

The importance of the alliances with the US and the issue of Iraq were also discussed. The two leaders both acknowledged the importance for Japan and the ROK to each maintain and continue its cooperation activities in Iraq for international coordination and the reconstruction of Iraq.

3. Stroll by Prime Minister Koizumi and President Roh (July 22)

During the course of a short stroll, Prime Minister Koizumi and President Roh affirmed the importance of constructing friendly and cooperative relations between Japan and the ROK without neglecting past history.

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