Seoul, Sept. 24 (Jiji Press)–Japanese and South Korean business leaders Tuesday expressed hope that the two Asian countries will mend the soured bilateral ties because the deterioration is negatively affecting their economies.
Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Yasumasa Nagamine said he is strongly concerned that a boycott of Japanese products in South Korea may overshadow the economic activities of Japanese companies.
These views were expressed at an annual meeting of business leaders of both countries, which began in Seoul on Tuesday for a two-day run.
This year’s meeting, the 51st of its kind, was attended by some 100 people from the Japanese side and 200 from the South Korean side.
Many Japanese participants showed worries about the spreading boycott of Japanese products in South Korea and a slump in the number of South Korean visitors to Japan.
“The mutually beneficial economic relations that have been developed so far are facing a crisis,” said Mitsubishi Corp. <8058> special adviser Mikio Sasaki, who heads the Japan-Korea Economic Association.
“We’re acutely feeling the need to mend the relations,” Sasaki said, stressing that the economy is inseparable from politics and diplomacy. He urged both governments to take action to improve the situation.
The bilateral relations fell to historic lows due to spats over history and trade issues.
Sasaki’s South Korean counterpart, Kim Yoon, said companies of both countries look at the future instead of the past. He underlined hope that the bilateral relations will be fixed at an early date.
South Korean trade minister Yoo Myung-hee said her country’s government will make diplomatic efforts to improve the bilateral relationship and support economic cooperation.
The current situation in which economic exchanges and cooperation are limited and the supply chain is disturbed is undesirable, she also said, expressing worries about Japan’s stricter trade controls against South Korea.
The meeting has been held annually since 1969. Japan and South Korea alternate as hosts.