S. Korean presidential candidate emphasizes relations with Japan

Jiji Press
Ahn Cheol-soo speaks at the press conference at the Seoul Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Seoul on Friday.

SEOUL — A centrist candidate who plans to run for South Korea’s presidency said Friday that if elected, he would put suspend the liquidation of Japanese corporate assets and seek to resolve a related lawsuit through negotiations with the Japanese government.

Ahn Cheol-soo, 59, a member of the minor opposition People’s Party, was speaking at press conference held at the Seoul Foreign Correspondents’ Club, and referring to a lawsuit regarding former requisitioned workers mobilized from the Korean Peninsula during Japan’s colonial rule — the biggest pending issue between Japan and South Korea.

Ahn emphasized that South Korea should focus on its relations with Japan. “It’s difficult to overturn the verdict, but it’s possible to suspend its execution,” he said. “Both governments should try to resolve the issue diplomatically.”

In a poll released by Gallup Korea on Friday, Lee Jae-myung, 57, of the ruling Democratic Party and the main conservative opposition People Power Party’s Yoon Seok-yeol, 61, each garnered 35% support, followed by Ahn at 15%.