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Shuttle diplomacy to be resumed with Kishida’s visit to Seoul

Shuttle diplomacy to be resumed with Kishida’s visit to Seoul

Posted May. 03, 2023 08:01,   

Updated May. 03, 2023 08:01


South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will hold a bilateral summit meeting in Seoul on Sunday. The Japanese prime minister will make a visit to Seoul for two days from Sunday. This comes just one month after President Yoon’s visit to Tokyo for a summit in March this year.

The South Korean presidential office officially confirmed the summit through a press release on Tuesday, saying, “Prime Minister Kishida plans to make a working visit to South Korea.” The office explained that “President Yoon invited Prime Minister Kishida to Seoul during his visit to Japan in March, and through Mr. Kishida’s visit, shuttle diplomacy between the two leaders will be in full swing.” The Japanese Foreign Ministry also announced Kishida’s visit, stating that “the visit is in accordance with their agreement to resume shuttle diplomacy.” Reportedly, Kishida is coordinating meetings with Korean business leaders during his stay.

This will mark the first visit to South Korea by a Japanese prime minister in 12 years since the visit by former Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to Seoul in October 2011. Kishida’s wife, Mrs. Yuko Kishida is scheduled to accompany him.

President Yoon and Prime Minister Kishida are expected to focus on enhancing security cooperation to address North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats. They are also expected to discuss cooperation in fields such as supply chain and advanced technology. Prior to the summit, on Wednesday, National Security Office Chief Cho Tae-yong and Japanese National Security Advisor Akiba Takeo will hold bilateral high-level security talks and a discussion on the launch of the National Security Council (NSC) economic security dialogue. The launch of the economic security dialogue is a follow-up measure to the Korea-Japan summit in March.

It remains to be seen whether Prime Minister Kishida will make any progress in responding to South Korea’s proposed compensation for the victims of forced labor during Japan’s colonial rule, but it is reported that the Japanese government is still showing reluctance towards making apologies for past wrongdoings.

sanghun@donga.com · newjin@donga.com