Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (photo) may adjust his schedule to attend the COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference held in Glasgow on next Monday and Tuesday (local time), according to NHK reports. There is growing attention on whether he will meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who will also attend the conference.
According to NHK, the Japanese prime minister is considering attending the conference in person after the House of Representatives election ends on Sunday, given circumstances that it would be difficult to attend virtually. He also considers that attending the conference would send a more effective message to the international community of Japan’s willingness to tackle climate change challenges. The Yomiuri Shimbun, however, reported that there is a chance that the visit to Glasgow can be cancelled depending on the results of the election.
If Prime Minister Kishida attends the conference, it will be his first visit overseas after taking office on Oct 4. President Moon is scheduled to visit Europe on a nine-day trip from Oct 28 to Nov 5, attending COP 26.
The two heads of state had a telephone conversation on Oct. 15 for the first time but were not able to narrow differences on disputes between the two countries, such as compensation for forced labor and sex slavery during Japan’s colonial rule. President Moon mentioned that he looks forward to meeting in person to discuss openly on developing further ties between the two countries. After the conversation, Prime Minister Kishida met with the press and said that communication between the two countries must continue, regardless of disputes on the past. However, he commented that “nothing was definite” about further meeting President Moon.