Japanese Prime Minister Hosts ROK President at 2 Ginza Restaurants

Courtesy of Cabinet Public Affairs Office
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, second from right, and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, second from left, at dinner with their wives in Tokyo on Thursday

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida hosted South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Thursday at a dinner following their summit meeting earlier in the day. After the dinner, the two leaders even went to an unusual after-party to further the conciliatory mood.

They had dinner at Yoshizawa, a long-established Japanese restaurant in Ginza, Tokyo, where Kishida and his wife Yuko, together with Yoon and his wife Kim Keon Hee, enjoyed Matsusaka beef sukiyaki. Kamotsuru, a brand of sake brewed in Hiroshima Prefecture — Kishida’s home turf — was served at the dinner, too.

The two leaders then went to Rengatei, a restaurant in Ginza that serves yoshoku Japanese-style Western dishes, for talks with only interpreters present. In a relaxed atmosphere, they reportedly took off their jackets and ties. Yoon had visited the restaurant in the past. There, Kishida and Yoon enjoyed such items as rice omelet, pork cutlets, hamburg steak and hayashi rice, a dish featuring sliced beef in demi-glace sauce.

Liberal Democratic Party Vice President Taro Aso had helped choose Rengatei as the after-party venue. When Aso visited South Korea last November, Yoon told him he was fond of rice omelets. Aso passed this information along to the prime minister’s side.

A source close to the prime minister said, “It is rare to have a second meeting with a foreign leader, so this was a good opportunity for the two sides to get to know each other.”