• Politics & Government

Japan Expresses Appreciation for S. Korean Announcement on Ex-Wartime Requisitioned Workers

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks about South Korea’s announcement at a Budget Committee meeting of the House of Councillors on Monday afternoon as Foreign Minister Yoshimsa Hayashi, left, looks on.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida expressed appreciation Monday afternoon for South Korea’s impending announcement on measures to resolve the issue of lawsuits by former wartime requisitioned workers from the Korean Peninsula, saying, “We positively assess it as a means for restoring Japan-South Korea relations to a healthy state.”

Kishida, speaking at a Budget Committee meeting of the House of Councillors, added, “South Korea is an important neighboring country that we should work with to address various challenges in the international community.

“We hope to further advance Japan-South Korean relations by communicating closely with [South Korean] President Yoon Suk-yeol.”

Regarding South Korea’s proposed measures, Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi referred to the 1998 Japan-South Korea Joint Declaration, in which then Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi expressed “deep remorse and heartfelt apology” for the colonial rule.

“It confirms that the government has continued the position in full of successive cabinets on historical recognition, including the joint declaration.” Hayashi said.

In anticipation of South Korea’s announcement, Kishida said in the morning at the Budget Committee meeting, “The Kishida Cabinet has also continued the position in full of successive cabinets on historical recognition, and will continue to do so.”

The clear stating of Japan’s unchanged stance on historical recognition by Kishida and Hayashi is believed to be a response in support of South Korea’s measures.