South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol visited a mourning altar for former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday, praying for the soul of the late leader and wishing for close cooperation between what he called the “closest neighbours”.
Yoon offered a silent tribute in front of the altar set up at the Japanese Embassy’s public information and cultural center in downtown Seoul and signed a condolence book before briefly talking with Japanese Ambassador to Seoul, Koichi Aiboshi.
In the condolence book, the South Korean President wrote that he prays for the former Prime Minister who “dedicated himself to the prosperity and development of Asia”.
He also extended his condolences to Abe’s family and the Japanese people, writing, “I hope South Korea and Japan, as the closest neighbours, will cooperate closely going forward.”
Abe was assassinated in the Japanese city of Nara last Friday while giving a speech in support of candidates from his Liberal Democratic Party ahead of key elections on Sunday, Yonhap news agency reported.
Yoon has expressed a commitment to improving bilateral ties that have been deeply frayed by disputes over the issues of wartime sexual slavery, forced labor and other issues stemming from Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.
Yoon plans to send a delegation led by Prime Minister Han Duck-soo to an official memorial ceremony for Abe in Japan.