Japan-Republic of Korea Summit Meeting (Summary)

  • Japan-Republic of Korea Summit Meeting
    (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
  • Japan-Republic of Korea Summit Meeting
    (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
December 18, 2011

 Mr. Yoshihiko Noda, Prime Minister of Japan, held a meeting with Mr. Lee Myung-bak, President of the Republic of Korea (ROK), for about one hour from around 09:10 a.m. on December 18, 2011 in Kyoto, Japan. This visit realized the vitalization of “Shuttle Diplomacy” which was agreed at the bilateral summit meeting in October this year. The two leaders deepened their personal relations of trust through their exchanges such as celebration of the 71st birthday and 41st wedding anniversary (both are on December 19) of the President at the dinner hosted by Prime Minister Noda.

1. Japan-ROK relations
(1) Prime Minister Noda stated A) Both Japan and the ROK are allies of the United States, and share basic values and interests such as peace and prosperity of East Asia, B) the two countries will build a multilayered and future-oriented bilateral relationship based on personal trust between the leaders and vigorous exchanges at the national level, and C) Japan will launch “Kizuna-Enhancement Project” to promote understanding on revitalization of Japan through exchanges with the youth in the areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, thereby promoting youth exchanges by approximately 1300 people before the end of March 2013. President Lee stated that it has become all the more important to strengthen mutual communications and to address the concerns of the region and the world in light of the gloomy and uncertain outlook of the global economy and other problems such as those regarding North Korea.

(2) On the transfer of traditional archives of Korean origin stored in Japan to the ROK, Prime Minister Noda stated that he wanted the ROK to preserve the transferred traditional archives as a symbol of bilateral friendship, and he hoped that bilateral cultural exchanges would become even more vigorous through the improved access to the archives of Japanese origin located in the ROK. President Lee expressed his appreciation for the efforts made by Prime Minister Noda for the transfer of the archives and stated that he envisioned the enhancement of access to the archives of Japanese origin located in the ROK.

(3) The two leaders welcomed the smooth commencement of “The Second Japan-ROK Joint Research Project on New Era” which was agreed at the summit meeting in October. They also agreed to start “The Third Joint Research Project on History”.

(4) On the issue of comfort women, President Lee pointed out that this is an important issue that needs to be addressed. President Lee said that the solution of this issue would contribute to the solution of various other issues, and that true bravery is needed for the solution. Prime Minister Noda stated, based on the legal position of the GOJ which has been consistently made clear, that the Japanese position was same as those that have been explained to the ROK. Prime Minister Noda then stated that Japan has made humanitarian efforts on this issue and would also try to explore ideas from a humanitarian point of view. On the issue of construction of the statue in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, Prime Minister Noda expressed his regret to the President over the construction and requested its early removal.

For more information on the Japanese efforts on comfort woman, please refer to http://www.awf.or.jp/e-preface.htm.

(5) Prime Minister Noda stated that he wanted to cooperate from a broader point of view so that the difficult problems between the two countries, including those pointed out by the Japanese side, would not negatively affect the bilateral relationship as a whole. He also expressed his hope to implement the frequent shuttle diplomacy. President Lee expressed his hope to hold dialogues based on their personal relationship despite the issues between the two countries, and agreed to hold the frequent shuttle diplomacy. President Lee appreciated the invitation by Japan and stated that he was impressed with the State Guest House in Kyoto.

(6) The two leaders exchanged their views on the importance of exchanging military information between the two countries.

2. Japan-ROK Economic Relationship including Japan-ROK EPA
Prime Minister Noda touched upon the recent successful conclusion of Japan-China-ROK FTA industry-government-academia research, Japan-ROK cooperation in negotiation for a Japan-China-ROK investment treaty, resumption of Japan-ROK EPA negotiation, recovery in Tohoku area, and nuclear safety. President Lee stated that there are growing exchanges between the two countries at private sector level, and expressed his hope to promote a vigorous exchange.

3. North Korea
On the issues of North Korea, the two leaders agreed on the close coordination between Japan and the ROK as well as among Japan, the ROK, and the United States in addressing North Korea’s nuclear development including the uranium enrichment programs as well as the missile problem. They also agreed on the importance of continuation of the inter-Korean dialogue and U.S.-North Korea dialogue as efforts to urge concrete actions by North Korea. They shared the view that the recent development was brought about by the close cooperation among Japan, ROK, and the United States. Prime Minister Noda also appreciated the understanding and cooperation from the ROK side on the abduction issue, and President Lee expressed that the ROK position on the abduction issue will not change.

*The foregoing is a provisional translation. The date indicated above denotes the date of issue of the original version in Japanese.

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