Keidanren Sets Up Fund for Improving Japan-ROK Ties

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Keidanren Chairman Masakazu Tokura, right, and Kim Byong Joon, acting chairman of the Federation of Korean Industries, announce Wednesday in Tokyo.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, said Wednesday that it has completed procedures for establishing a fund to conduct projects aimed at building a future-oriented relationship between Japan and South Korea.

Japan’s biggest business lobby will use the “future partnership fund” for joint projects with its South Korean counterpart, the Federation of Korean Industries.

The two organizations plan to jointly host a forum on industry cooperation in Seoul on July 6. The planned steering committee for joint projects will also hold its first meeting.

Keidanren and the FKI agreed in March to each create a fund of ¥100 million for joint projects, announcing the deal on the day when Prime Minister Fumio Kishida had a meeting with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol in Tokyo. The FKI is preparing to establish its own fund.

The steering committee will be chaired jointly by Keidanren Chairman Masakazu Tokura and FKI Acting Chairman Kim Byong Joon.

“It is very reassuring that moves to improve Japan-South Korea ties are on track,” Tokura said Wednesday.

Efforts linked to economic security are “very important,” he said regarding joint projects. “Strengthening supply chains for semiconductors and energy security are especially important.”

Kim, also present at the press conference, said that the conditions are ripe for economic cooperation thanks to the resumption of “shuttle diplomacy,” or mutual visits by Japanese and South Korean leaders.

The FKI leader added that it is possible for the two countries to be a center of global supply chains for semiconductors.

The joint projects to be carried out by the two sides also include the promotion of exchanges of young people, partly through cooperation among universities.