Komeito’s Yamaguchi, S. Korea’s Yoon agree to improve ties

Courtesy of the Office of the President of South Korea / Jiji Press
Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi, left, and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol shake hand in the Office of the President in Seoul on Thursday.

SEOUL — Natsuo Yamaguchi, leader of Komeito, the junior party in Japan’s ruling coalition, and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol agreed at a meeting in Seoul on Thursday to work together to improve the relationship between their countries.

Yamaguchi told Yoon that his party will make efforts so that intergovernmental talks on solving the wartime labor issue between the two countries can make progress.

During the meeting, Yamaguchi noted that South Korea is a very important neighboring country in terms of Japan’s national security, while pointing to the importance of security cooperation among Japan, the United States and South Korea for dealing with North Korea, which has repeatedly fired missiles.

The Komeito leader called for the South Korean side’s understanding for the Japanese government’s recent revision of its three key national security-related documents, including a decision allowing Japan to possess counterstrike capabilities.

Yoon said he aims to strengthen security cooperation between South Korea and Japan to counter North Korea.

The president said he will make efforts to bring the South Korea-Japan relationship back to the days when the relationship was at its best.

“I directly felt the South Korean side’s strong determination to improve the bilateral relationship,” Yamaguchi told reporters after the meeting.

On the wartime labor issue, Yamaguchi explained that he and the president did not have specific discussions.

Yamagushi is scheduled to stay in South Korea until Saturday. During the trip, he will also have a meeting with South Korea Foreign Minister Park Jin.