On Thursday, the Vice Foreign Ministers of Japan and South Korea, Chikao Kawai and Ahn Ho-Young respectively, met in Tokyo for their 12th ‘strategic dialogue’ from 2005 and, according to a statement from the Japanese ministry, “frank exchange of views on ways to further strengthen Japan-South Korea relations.” It was the first of such dialogue since the new leaders of both countries took office in December.
Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Kawai noted that both countries in fact have very similar “basic values and interests” and proposed that both nations unite to build a relationship that is “future-oriented” despite “difficult problems” occasionally occurring between them. He added his hope that both nations should continue to make close consultations with each other’s new government. Both Kawai and Ahn were in agreement to strengthen cooperation between their countries and the United States in dealing with North Korea, in the wake of the latter’s recent rocket launch controversy.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-hye both seem to have a desire to mend their government’s relationship with each other. This is evident when Abe sent an envoy to Seoul and welcomed as his first foreign visitor a close aide to Park, and Park just last week said that she hopes for future “reconciliation and cooperation” with Japan.
[via China Post]