Despite their countries’ history of colonization, leaders from South Korea and Japan express appreciation for enhanced collaboration.

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Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s Apology in South Korea

Despite their countries’ history of colonization, leaders from South Korea and Japan express appreciation for enhanced collaboration.During the meeting, Kishida expressed his sadness over the Korean people’s harsh experiences during Japan’s colonial occupation of Korea from 1910 to 1945, which included sexual slavery and forced labor.

South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol, who has prioritized improving relations with Japan, welcomed Kishida’s visit as a sign that “shuttle diplomacy” between the two nations was back on track. The relationship between the two countries has been strained over historic issues, such as the forced labor issue, which has led to an escalating series of economic measures.

While experts predicted that Kishida would not offer a new apology, he reaffirmed the “heartfelt apology” made by previous Japanese administrations. Although this fell short of expectations, Choi Eunmi, a researcher at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, noted Kishida’s expression of sincerity and called it meaningful for restoring shuttle diplomacy.

Efforts to mend ties come as North Korea continues to develop and test nuclear weapons. South Korea, Japan, and the United States have been ramping up their defense cooperation to counter this threat. Kishida and Yoon agreed to hold a trilateral meeting with the United States on the sidelines of the upcoming G7 summit.

The leaders also agreed to end tit-for-tat trade curbs, and Kishida invited Yoon to a G7 meeting in Hiroshima. It is long overdue that the two countries “end the vicious cycle of mutual hostility and work together” to improve regional security, according to Yoon.

Progress on such trilateral cooperation is likely to be highlighted by a Biden-Yoon-Kishida meeting on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Hiroshima later this month. The leaders shared the recognition that North Korea’s nuclear and missile development poses a grave threat to peace and stability not only on the Korean Peninsula and Japan, but also throughout the world.

As South Korea moves forward, Kishida praised the people who are opening their hearts to the future while not forgetting the hardships of the past. Although there is still work to be done, this official visit may signal a step in the right direction for improving relations between South Korea and Japan.

SOURCE: Ref – news wires

Images: google images

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