Yomiuri Chairman Shoichi Oikawa Interview Aired on South Korean TV, Calls for Two Nations to Deepen Exchange

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, right, speaks during an interview with Yomiuri Chairman Shoichi Oikawa in Seoul in March.

SEOUL — Shoichi Oikawa, representative director and chairman of the board of The Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings, said Japan and South Korea must work to deepen exchange between them, in an interview aired this week on South Korean TV.

The interview was conducted by South Korean broadcaster SBS on Sept. 20 and aired Tuesday on an evening news program. It paid particular attention to The Yomiuri Shimbun’s exclusive interview with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol in March, ahead of his summit with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

Oikawa recalled the March interview as “a good opportunity to help [Japanese readers] know what the South Korean president is thinking,” amid Seoul’s efforts to improve relations with its neighbor.

Earlier in March, the Yoon administration announced a plan to resolve the issue of lawsuits concerning former wartime requisitioned workers from the Korean Peninsula, thus lending momentum to the resumption of reciprocal visits between the Japanese and South Korean leaders for the first time in about 12 years.

On the SBS program, Oikawa said building mutual confidence was key to improving relations between Japan and South Korea.

“There will be little progress as long as [both sides] say they won’t trust each other because they don’t understand each other,” Oikawa said. “Both sides need to make an effort to deepen exchange.”

SBS interviewed Oikawa at The Yomiuri Shimbun head office in Tokyo. Oikawa is also senior deputy editor-in-chief of The Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings and editor-in-chief of The Japan News.