Japan-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (Overview)
On September 27 (local time), Minister for Foreign Affairs Koichiro Gemba held a foreign ministers’ meeting with Mr. Kim Sung-hwan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea (ROK) from 5:30 pm for approximately 30 minutes, while his visit to New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly. The following is an overview of the meeting (Participant on the Japanese side included Mr. Shinsuke Sugiyama, Director-General of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, and on the ROK side included Mr. Lee Sang-deuk, Deputy Director-General of the Northeast Asian Affairs Bureau):
(1) In the meeting, both sides shared the view that there are difficult bilateral issues that the two countries raise, and although both countries need to make assertion on these issues, it is also important for the two countries to cooperate in various fields such as economic and human exchanges, cultural exchanges, and security issues, from a broader perspective.
(2) Moreover, both ministers shared the view that as both are each in charge of diplomacy of Japan and the ROK, they need to have frequent communication and make more effort together to construct a stable and future-oriented Japan-ROK relation. In addition, the two sides also shared the idea that the relationship between Japan and the ROK should not be confrontational but cooperative.
(3) In the meeting, the two sides had discussion on the Takeshima dispute, comfort women issue, and remarks made by the ROK President Lee Myung-bak’s concerning the Emperor of Japan. Minister Gemba conveyed the position of the Government of Japan based on its basic stance and both ministers had an earnest exchange of opinions.
2.North Korean issues
Concerning North Korean issues, Minister Gemba explained the current situations of Japan-North Korea Government-level Consultation, and both ministers concurred that they would maintain close cooperation between Japan and the ROK, as well as among Japan, the ROK, and the United States. In addition, Minister Gemba proposed to have a frank exchange of opinions at the Japan-U.S.-ROK Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on September 28, and Minister Kim agreed to it.
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