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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

ROK officials positive on resolving disputes with Japan

  • October 18, 2019
  • , Asahi, Yomiuri, Nikkei
  • JMH Summary

Asahi front-paged an interview with South Korean Premier Lee, who plans to visit Tokyo next week to attend the imperial enthronement ceremony and is likely to hold talks with Prime Minister Abe on Thursday. Lee reportedly said he might deliver a letter from President Moon to PM Abe. According to Lee, President Moon is keenly interested in achieving a breakthrough in the stalled bilateral relations. “President Moon wishes to resolve the outstanding issues during his term of office even if finding a solution to them at this juncture may be difficult,” said Lee. “He is deeply worried about the status of bilateral ties….” The daily speculated that Lee probably made these remarks in coordination with the Blue House, adding that his message should be taken as coming from the Moon administration.

 

According to Yomiuri, PM Abe commented at the Diet yesterday on Premier Lee’s planned visit to Japan by saying: “We are aiming to seize an opportunity to put the bilateral relations back on track.” However, an unnamed senior MOFA official cited by the paper said the meeting between the two prime ministers will probably “not be substantive” given that it will be brief.  

 

Nikkei published an interview with ROK Ambassador to Japan Nam Gwan-pyo, who reportedly said Seoul is willing to hold dialogue with Japan “without restrictions” to resolve the dispute over requisitioned workers. While saying, “We will put all the options on the table and study their possibilities,” the envoy suggested that the ROK government may play a part in offering compensation to the victims in partnership with local and Japanese firms involved. As for the GSOMIA, the ambassador reportedly noted that both sides recognize its importance. However, he underscored that Seoul has no choice but to discontinue the accord unless Tokyo stops imposing tougher restrictions on Korea-bound exports of strategic materials.   

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