Tokyo, Seoul See Dramatic Improvement in Ties Since President Yoon Suk Yeol’s Positive Actions

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, right, and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol give a joint press conference in Tokyo in March.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s administration appreciates South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s leadership for helping to dramatically improve relations between their nations.

Yoon announced a plan earlier this year to resolve the issue of lawsuits surrounding former requisitioned workers from the Korean Peninsula. Reciprocal visits between the leaders of the two nations then resumed for the first time in 12 years.

In the months since, further actions from Seoul have given hope that the bilateral ties will further strengthen.

“An active and wide range of dialogue and cooperation are taking place in the public and private sectors,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said during a regular press conference Tuesday. “We wish to accelerate this positive trend to further develop the relationship.”

In August, Kishida, Yoon and U.S. President Joe Biden gathered at Camp David outside Washington for a summit. Better Tokyo-Seoul relations have also led to stronger cooperation among the three nations.

The Yoon administration also viewed the release of treated water from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant into the ocean as acceptable.

“South Korea’s calm response contrasts sharply with that of China and is very significant in gaining the understanding of the international community,” said a senior Japanese Foreign Ministry official.

Concerns still remain on the security front, but efforts to rebuild trust have been made by immediately sharing missile-related information among Tokyo, Washington and Seoul, and holding joint drills.