Japan, S. Korea Agree to Resume Financial Dialogue

South Korean Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance Choo Kyung-ho shakes hands with Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki during their meeting in Incheon, South Korea, on Tuesday.

INCHEON, South Korea (Jiji Press) — Japan and South Korea agreed to resume bilateral financial dialogue at their first official meeting of finance ministers in seven years, held in Incheon, South Korea, on Tuesday.

Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki and Choo Kyung-ho, South Korea’s deputy prime minister and minister of economy and finance, met on the sidelines of a four-day annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank in the same city from Tuesday.

“We agreed to hold Cabinet-level financial dialogue at an appropriate time,” Suzuki told a press conference after his meeting with Choo. The last time Japan and South Korea had such dialogue was August 2016.

The two neighboring nations held the meeting of their finance ministers on the back of improved bilateral relationship following a summit of their leaders in March this year.

At a meeting of the Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank leaders last month, Suzuki met with Choo and agreed to hold the official meeting on the sidelines of the ADB meeting.

Speaking to Choo on Tuesday, Suzuki stressed the need for Japan and South Korea to work together to tackle geopolitical issues, such as North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile development and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Choo pointed to the geopolitical risks and supply chain disruptions and said that South Korean and Japanese authorities should boost cooperation.

He asked Japan to complete early its procedures to put South Korea back on its list of countries to which preferential trade treatment is given.

Meanwhile, ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa at a press conference announced the establishment of a new lending framework to support decarbonization efforts by emerging nations.

The framework will allow around $15 billion in loans to be extended with debt guarantees by advanced nations.

Also on Tuesday, Japan had a meeting of finance ministers and central bank leaders with South Korea and China and a similar gathering with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Japanese participants included Suzuki and Bank of Japan Gov. Kazuo Ueda.

Later on Tuesday, the 13 Asian countries that comprise ASEAN Plus Three will hold a meeting of their finance ministers and central bank leaders.