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Tue, 05/10/2022 - 02:27
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Japan, S. Korea Agree to Stop Bilateral Ties Worsening

Tokyo, May 9 (Jiji Press)--Visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and Park Jin, set to become South Korean foreign minister, on Monday agreed that their countries must not let bilateral relations worsen any further. The two shared the view in a dinner session in Seoul that lasted about two hours. Hayashi is visiting the South Korean capital to attend the presidential inauguration ceremony of Yoon Suk-yeol on Tuesday as Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's special envoy. Hayashi and Park agreed to realize high-level talks between their governments at an early date to resolve pending issues including those related to former laborers and comfort women who worked for Japan in wartime. Japan's basic position is that the wartime labor issue was resolved under the 1965 bilateral agreement on property and claims concluded when the two countries normalized their diplomatic relations. "It is necessary to develop Japan-South Korea ties based on the foundation of friendly and cooperative relations that have been built up since the 1965 normalization of the diplomatic ties," Hayashi told Park, calling for concrete action by South Korea. Hayashi also expressed hope that they will meet again in Japan in the near future for deeper discussions. Park showed his desire to develop the two countries' relations, referring to the 1998 joint declaration by then Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi and then South Korean President Kim Dae-jung that the two countries would build a "future-oriented relationship." Hayashi and Park shared serious concerns about North Korea's accelerating nuclear and missile development programs. The two also confirmed the importance of strengthening the three-way cooperation including the United States and maintaining deterrence through their countries' alliances with the United States. On Tuesday, Hayashi is set to meet with Yoon and hand him a personal letter from Kishida. END