SEOUL: South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol in brief talks with Japanese Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio in Spain on Tuesday expressed his eagerness to resolve challenges between the two East Asian nations early, according to the office of the president.
The two leaders met at a banquet hosted by Spain’s King Felipe VI in Madrid.
Yoon told Kishida that he plans to resolve problems pending between South Korea and Japan swiftly after the July 10 election for Japan’s House of Councillors, the upper chamber of parliament, and move ahead in a future-oriented way, said officials of the presidential office.
It was the first time for Yoon and Kishida to meet in person, with the face-to-face talks lasting three or four minutes. They held phone talks in March, right after Yoon won the presidential election that month.
According to the officials, Kishida spoke to Yoon at the banquet and congratulated him on his inauguration as South Korean president last month and his People Power Party’s victory in a series of South Korean local elections June 1.
In response, Yoon said he hopes Kishida’s Liberal Democratic Party will produce good results in the Upper House poll.
In Tokyo, Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary ISOZAKI Yoshihiko told a press conference that the Japanese and South Korean leaders exchanged brief greetings at the banquet, adding that Kishida asked Yoon to work on making the bilateral relationship, which has deteriorated sharply, healthy again.
“We want to communicate closely with the South Korean side, including President Yoon, based on our country’s consistent stance,” the top Japanese government spokesman added.
Kishida and Yoon are slated to join a three-way meeting with US President Joe Biden in Spain on Wednesday. But a bilateral meeting between the South Korean and Japanese leaders has not been set during their stay in Spain.