(Sankei: November 3, 2015 – p. 5)
By Masataka Mine
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: I would like to work with you, President Park, to build a new era of future-oriented relations.
President Park Geun-hye: We will heal the [wounds of] bitter history and work for further development of bilateral relations through today’s meeting.
Abe, Park: We agree to strengthen cooperation in security, people-to-people exchanges, and various other areas.
Comfort women issue
Abe: In order to build a future-oriented relationship, it is important that this issue does not become an obstacle for future generations.
Park: The comfort women issue is the greatest obstacle to improving relations. This needs to be resolved at an early date in a way acceptable both to the victims and the people.
Abe, Park: We agree to accelerate discussions at the Foreign Ministry bureau chief level in order to reach an agreement at an early date.
South China Sea issue
Abe: The present situation is a cause of common concern for the international community. U.S. forces’ action (of dispatching a destroyer to waters near China’s artificial islands) is in line with international law, so Japan immediately voiced support. We would like to cooperate with the ROK and the U.S. to ensure a free and peaceful sea.
Relations with North Korea
Abe, Park: We affirm the need for close cooperation among Japan, the U.S., and the ROK in order to prod [North Korea] to take action toward denuclearization. We agree to cooperate in resolving the abduction issue.
Abe: It is important to deepen relations through high-level economic talks.
Park: We would also like to build cooperative relations under the TPP.
Abe: We will observe the discussion in the ROK.
Former Sankei Shimbun Seoul Bureau chief’s court case and other issues
Abe: I ask that you deal with the court case of the former Seoul Bureau chief and import restrictions on Japanese fisheries products in response to the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.