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Joint Statement Issued by Korean-Japanese Businessmen

Posted April. 15, 2005 23:14,   


Attending the 37th Korea-Japan Business Conference, businessmen from both countries on April 15 stated that they are “concerned that the recent political and diplomatic disputes between the two countries might have a negative impact on Korea-Japan friendship,” adding, “Both the Korean and Japanese governments should keep cool in dealing with these issues from a future-oriented perspective.”

In a joint statement released on this day after the second day of the conference held at the Shilla Hotel, Jangchung-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, they said, “Korean and Japanese citizens should likewise do their utmost to achieve continuous development in non-political fields, such as economy and culture.” They also pledged, “To this end, businessmen in both countries will make strenuous efforts as well.”

Regarding the issue of concluding a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two nations, they expressed their shared understanding that the Korea-Japan FTA would be “the very first step that signifies the two countries moving toward a strategic partnership of the 21st century,” emphasizing the business sector’s endeavors for the conclusion of a FTA.

On Japan’s claim to the Dokdo islands and distortion of historical facts in textbooks, they argued, “Figuring out what is right or wrong on the basis of facts, we should make every effort to resolve the issue with honest, future-oriented dialogues.” The meeting was attended by 145 Korean participants, including co-chairman Cho Seok-rae, and 103 Japanese counterparts, with co-chairman Yuzo Seto among them.

Young-Hae Choi Sang-Soo Kim yhchoi65@donga.com ssoo@donga.com