Japan-Republic of Korea Summit Meeting (Summary)

(June 20 and 21, Seoul, Republic of Korea)

June 20, 2005

On June 20, 2005, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi held a Summit Meeting for approximately two hours with President Roh Moo Hyun of the Republic of Korea (ROK) at the Sangchunjae (Spring House) of Cheong Wa Dae (Presidential Palace) during his visit to the ROK. Later, Prime Minister Koizumi attended a dinner hosted by President Roh which lasted for approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. The following is a summary of the meeting.

1. Japan-ROK Bilateral Relations

(1) Opening addresses by the two leaders

(a) President Roh noted that Prime Minister Koizumi's visit came at a time when Japan-ROK relations are going through a difficult period, stating that such times demand listening to each other's opinions and engaging in frank dialogue. In response, Prime Minister Koizumi stated that although there may be differences in opinion and conflicting issues, he was looking forward to a frank exchange of opinions that would make the meeting productive and contribute to enhancing the friendly relations between Japan and the ROK.
(b) Prime Minister Koizumi expressed his delight that both Japan and the ROK have now guaranteed their places at the 2006 FIFA World Cup Finals in Germany, noting that the co-hosting of the 2002 World Cup Korea/Japan and its success had heralded a new era between the two countries. Prime Minister Koizumi expressed his intention of continuing to treat such future-oriented trends with importance.

(2) Historical issues (General issues)

(a) President Roh stated that trusting bilateral relations between Japan and the ROK were of the utmost importance for the construction of stable peace and coexistence in Northeast Asia. He stated that Japan regretting the unfortunate history and acting on its conviction never to repeat such history would be the basis of trusting bilateral relations. President Roh also stated that senior officials in Japan should avoid repeating words and deeds that might undermine the trust.
(b) In response, Prime Minister Koizumi stated that he felt distress at the direction in which the Japan-ROK relations had gone since late February this year and that he has taken on gravely the Korean people's sentiment concerning the past. In addition, although there may be differences in opinion from time to time, Prime Minister Koizumi stated that he would make practical efforts to demonstrate a sincere attitude toward the issues of the past between the two countries and would seek to put bilateral relations back on track and advance a future-oriented relationship on a broader perspective.
(c) In addition, Prime Minister Koizumi explained that over the course of the 60 years of the post-war period, Japan has consistently maintained an exclusively defense-oriented policy as a peaceful country supported firmly by democratic rule and has been making maximum contributions to international peace and stability without adding to international conflicts. In response, President Roh pointed out that while he was fully aware of the path taken by Japan in the post-war period, it was important for the Japanese side to make efforts to restore trusting relationship with regard to historical issues.
(d) President Roh stated that the current situation is such that even if relations were to advance in a favorable manner, this could be undermined by a temporary rise in emotions. In response, Prime Minister Koizumi stated that while there were moves in some parts to incite confrontation of the emotions of the peoples, this was not something that the leaders of the countries could afford to follow.

2. New Memorial and Peace Commemoration Facility, Yasukuni Shrine Issue

(1) President Roh raised an issue with regard to the considerations currently underway on a memorial facility for remembering the dead and praying for peace. Prime Minister Koizumi stated in response that he would consider this taking into account Japanese public opinion and other circumstances. (This is affirmed as an agreement at the summit level.)

(2) With regard to the issue of visits to Yasukuni Shrine, President Roh stated that this issue lies at the very heart of historical issues between Japan and the ROK. Prime Minister Koizumi stated that the visits to Yasukuni Shrine were in no way intended to glorify or justify war, but were to mourn for the war dead who involuntarily went to battle and to pledge that Japan would never repeat the war again. He added that his visit to Iwo Jima on the previous day had been made to renew the pledge not to fight a war again.

3. Japan-ROK Joint History Research

The two leaders agreed to launch a second Japan-ROK Joint History Research, under the umbrella of which a "School Textbook Subgroup" would be established. The two leaders agreed that the results of the joint research should be widely publicized and for those areas in which shared awareness is achieved, efforts should be made within the framework of each country's school textbook system to refer to the joint research in the process of compiling and editing school textbooks.

4. Issues Attributable to the Past

(1) Prime Minister Koizumi explained Japan's policy of advancing a response to the following issues attributable to the past, to the extent that it is possible to do so from a humanitarian perspective:
(a) the investigation into and return of remains of people from the Korean Peninsula conscripted during the war; (b) assistance to Korean people in Sakhalin; and (c) assistance for atomic bomb victims living in the ROK and other issues.

(2) In response, President Roh showed his regard for the response by the Japanese side and expressed his expectations for further progress.

5. Japan-ROK Free Trade Agreement (FTA)

Prime Minister Koizumi explained the status of negotiations for the economic partnership agreements (EPA) with countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). He stated that both the Japan and ROK sides need pool their wisdom and hold discussions to advance Japan-ROK FTA negotiations, pointing out the importance of an early resumption of the negotiations and of dialogues at a high-level. President Roh responded by explaining the situation in the ROK and undertaking to consider the matter.

6. Expanding Exchanges between Japan and the ROK

(1) Prime Minister Koizumi emphasized the importance of further expanding exchanges between the two countries. He specifically mentioned the active promotion of exchange of human resources in all industries and sectors that would be at the forefront of the next generation, in addition to youth and sports exchanges, and the invigoration of exchange of teachers. Prime Minister Koizumi also announced the appointment of a Japan-ROK Goodwill Ambassadors for Football.

(2) With regard to the Japan-Korea Friendship Year 2005, Prime Minister Koizumi stated that a number of significant events are planned to be held later in the year for which he intends to garner a great deal of enthusiasm in both the public and private sectors.

(3) In response, President Roh stated that he would like to see Japan-ROK cooperation in this regard.

7. Increasing Flights between Haneda and Gimpo Airports

Prime Minister Koizumi announced that from August 1, the number of daily flights between Haneda Airport and Gimpo Airport would increase from the current four to eight flights a day. President Roh welcomed the announcement.

8. North Korea

(1) President Roh explained the situation concerning the nuclear issue and exchange between North and South, focusing on the recent visit to North Korea by ROK Minister for Unification Chung Tong Young.

(2) Both leaders reaffirmed that the Six-Party Talks is the best framework through which to reach a peaceful resolution to the nuclear issue and that in addition to cooperation towards the early resumption of the Talks, it is important for Japan, the ROK and the United States (US) to form a united front. Prime Minister Koizumi re-emphasized the importance of Japan, the US and ROK acting in concert towards the resumption of the Six-Party Talks and went on to mention the abduction issue for which he requested the ROK side's continued understanding and support.


Prime Minister Koizumi expressed his appreciation for the cooperation provided by the ROK with regard to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), and the two leaders affirmed that six-way cooperation (Japan, ROK, China, Russia, EU, US) would be advanced.

10. Shuttle Summit Meetings

The two leaders agreed that the next of the Shuttle Summit Meetings would be held in Japan by the end of the year.

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