Countries & Regions
Japan-ROK Foreign Ministers' Meeting
On July 1 (local time), commencing at 4:25 p.m. for approximately 30 minutes, on the margins of ASEAN-related Foreign Ministers’ Meetings in Brunei, Minister for Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida held a meeting with Mr. Yun Byung-se, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea. The overview of the meeting is as follows. (The participants on the Japanese side included Mr. Junichi Ihara, Director-General of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, and those on the ROK side included Mr. Lee Kyung-soo, Deputy Minister for Political Affairs.)
- The Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was the first face-to-face meeting between Minister Kishida and Minister Yun. It signifies the start toward constructing multilayered and future-oriented Japan-ROK relations.
- (1) Minister Kishida stated that: (A) Japan and the ROK are important neighboring countries which share fundamental values and interests; (B) Japan hopes to closely cooperate with the ROK to develop the bilateral relations that are supported by close grass-roots level relationship represented by annual traffic of approximately 5.5 million people between the two countries; (C) although there are difficult bilateral issues, Japan hopes to manage the relations from a broader perspective, and advance cooperation in a variety of fields, including further deepening of bilateral trade and investment and promoting information sharing in the field of security; (D) at the opportunity of the 50th anniversary of the normalization of relations in 2015, Japan hopes to cooperate in order to bring Japan-ROK relations up to a new stage.
(2) Minister Yun agreed on the importance of ROK-Japan relations and to further develop economic relations and human exchanges, as well as to cooperate toward 2015.
- Regarding the issues of recognition of history, Minister Yun referred to the importance of squarely facing up to history. Minister Kishida pointed out the existence of difficult issues between Japan and the ROK, and again explained the position of the Abe Cabinet on the recognition of history which had already been made clear in the Diet and on other occasions. In addition, Minister Kishida conveyed that Japan hopes the ROK side to extend its thorough understanding of this Cabinet’s position, and that Japan intends to manage the bilateral relations together with the ROK.
- Both sides shared the view that they would enhance communication and exchanges of information at various levels on many opportunities, strengthen mutual trust, and advance Japan-ROK relations.
(North Korean issues were not discussed in this meeting since there were limit of time and much discussion had already taken place at the Japan-U.S.-ROK Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Meeting which preceded the bilateral meeting.)