Relations between South Korea and Japan have shown a clear trend of improvement recently following a period of “deep ordeal” in the past few years, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said in a message on Tuesday.
“Relations between South Korea and Japan went through the most difficult and deepest ordeal for the past few years, but they are showing a clear trend of improvement recently,” Yoon said in the message, read by First Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun-dong, at a joint Seoul conference of the two countries’ private panels on helping develop bilateral relations.
Yoon stressed South Korea and Japan are “the closest and most important neighbors” that need to cooperate in all fields, including security and the economy. The president added the Seoul government will continue to make efforts toward “practical improvements” of the relations, Yonhap news agency reported.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also pledged to work toward improving bilateral ties in his message delivered by Koichi Aiboshi, Japan’s ambassador to South Korea.
Kishida said he will maintain close communications with Yoon for a prompt resolution for pending issues.
Yoon has repeatedly expressed a commitment to improve the bilateral relationship in a departure from his liberal predecessor, Moon Jae-in. The two neighbours have stepped up efforts to improve security cooperation against North Korea’s provocations and threats.