Japan Welcomes Description as ‘Partner’ of South Korea

Yomiuri file photo
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno

The Japanese government has welcomed South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol’s call to build future-oriented relations and plans to accelerate final talks with Seoul to resolve the issue of former wartime requisitioned workers from the Korean Peninsula, a matter crucial to improving bilateral ties.

At a press conference Wednesday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said South Korea was “an important neighboring country” that Japan should work with to address various issues that affect the international community.

Matsuno’s comment came after Yoon called Japan a “partner” during a speech earlier that day.

Japan and South Korea have been deepening their security cooperation with the United States to deal with the threats posed by North Korea.

Tokyo-Seoul cooperation will also be essential on policies concerning the semiconductor industry, an area that Washington has increasingly focused on as it faces off with China.

The Japanese government basically plans to maintain its position that the issue of former requisitioned workers was resolved under the 1965 Agreement on the Settlement of Problems concerning Property and Claims and on Economic Cooperation between Japan and the Republic of Korea.

Japan seeks to find common ground with the South Korean side through discussions between diplomatic authorities.