New South Korean Ambassador to Japan Nam Gwan-pyo said Monday that he will deal with the pending issues and historical disputes separately to prevent the Seoul-Tokyo relations from being swayed by historical feuds. He also pledged to strengthen practical cooperation between the two neighboring countries.
“We can’t eliminate historical disputes that already exist, but we should manage and stop them from intensifying by respecting and trying to understand each country’s different stances,” Nam said in a meeting with South Korean correspondents in Tokyo Monday at the Embassy of South Korea in Tokyo. “I’ll clearly convey the South Korean government’s position to Japan, and also deliver various views voiced within Japan to South Korea.”
The bilateral relationship between South Korea and Japan has increasingly deteriorated since Seoul’s top court in last October ordered Japanese company Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal to compensate South Korean victims of forced labor. Tokyo harshly criticized Seoul for doing so, but has recently expressed an intention to improve its relations with South Korea with the enthronement of new emperor Naruhito and a series of missile launches by North Korea.