S. Korean PM hopes to improve ties with Japan

SEOUL (Jiji Press) — South Korean Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said Tuesday that he hopes to improve his country’s relations with Japan by taking advantage of his personal relationship with Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi.

At a press conference with foreign media organizations, Kim expressed a wish to achieve an improvement in the two countries’ relations while Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Hayashi are in office.

Kim, who is well versed in Japan affairs and once served as vice head of South Korea’s parliamentarian group for friendship with Japan, said that he began to have private exchanges with Hayashi through the group.

Kim also said he has sent Hayashi a letter with the aim of breaking the deadlock between the two countries.

He said he knows Kishida and Hayashi are politicians who put top priority on friendly and good relations with neighboring countries in Northeast Asia.

Concern on gold mine

South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong expressed strong concerns about Japan’s bid to have a gold mine site listed as a World Cultural Heritage site, in a meeting with UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay in Paris Tuesday, the South Korean Foreign Ministry said.

Seoul opposes listing the Sado gold mine in Niigata Prefecture, central Japan, as a UNESCO heritage site, claiming that people from the Korean Peninsula were forced to work there during World War II.