Japan, South Korea rebuild ties
Tokyo and Seoul set aside their differences
The leaders of Japan and South Korea have agreed to restart frequent reciprocal visits, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday in Tokyo.
“We agreed on the resumption of shuttle diplomacy by leaders of Japan and South Korea, no matter what the format” of the trips, Kishida said as he met visiting South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol in the capital, Agence France-Presse reported.
Japan’s trade ministry also said Thursday in a statement it had decided to lift export controls on materials for semiconductors destined for South Korea while Seoul announced the withdrawal of a related complaint before the World Trade Organization.
Trade ministries from the two sides made the announcement as Yoon arrived in Tokyo for the summit with Kishida intended to rebuild ties between the two neighbors.
Tense relations between Japan and South Korea reached a nadir in 2018 after a South Korean court ordered Japanese firms to compensate victims of wartime forced labour and their families.
Tense relations between Japan and South Korea reached a nadir in 2018 after a South Korean court ordered Japanese firms to compensate victims of wartime forced labor and their families.
Japan rejected the 2018 South Korean court ruling, arguing that colonial-era disputes were settled in 1965.
Diplomatic ties were normalized that year and Tokyo gave Seoul loans and economic aid worth some $800 million, the equivalent of several billion dollars now.
The two sides imposed tit-for-tat trade measures and halted cooperation on several fronts as ties frayed.
South Koreans also mounted a widespread boycott of Japanese goods, including beer, cosmetic products and cars.
Yoon is visiting Japan after announcing a plan to compensate victims of forced labor without any direct involvement by Tokyo.
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