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Leaders from Korea and Japan Agree on June 20 Summit

Posted June. 15, 2005 04:22,   


The Korean and Japanese governments officially announced yesterday that President Roh Moo-hyun and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will have a summit in Seoul on June 20.

Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Man-soo said, "The two countries reached a final agreement to have a summit at Cheong Wa Dae on June 20 with Prime Minister Koizumi visiting Seoul. He is scheduled to return to Japan on June 21."

It was reported that there will be no schedule for the two leaders on June 21.

Spokesman Kim stated, "After agonizing over whether to have the Korea-Japan summit, President Roh heard the opinion that it is necessary at a lunch meeting with chairpersons of the ruling and opposition parties and the heads of the three government branches: the chief justice, prime minister, and speaker of the National Assembly. Then he made the decision and notified the Japanese government."

The possibility of a deferment or cancellation of the shuttle summit, which became a regular summit held twice a year starting last year, had been raised.

Nevertheless, by agreeing to hold the summit this month as scheduled, the bilateral relationship has averted the worst-case situation.

In this summit, the Korean government hopes that there will be improvement regarding three major problems between Korea and Japan, namely the Dokdo dominium and history textbook issues and Prime Minister Koizumi`s pilgrimages to the Yasukuni Shrine.

Yet, as the Japanese government shows no visible changes in its stance, it is expected that it will be difficult to resolve the bilateral conflict completely.

At the briefing, spokesman Kim said, "Through this summit, the two leaders are scheduled to consult in ways to cooperate in sharing views on history for desirable Korea-Japan relations and resolving the North Korea nuclear crisis in a peaceful way.”

Jung-Hun Kim jnghn@donga.com