Tuesday’s Mainichi published a prominent inside-page article on Prime Minister Abe’s plan to hold talks with South Korean Premier Lee in Tokyo on Thursday, saying that GOJ officials do not anticipate that the talks will lead to a breakthrough in the stalled political relations. The South Korean side is also not optimistic about the prospects, with a source close to Premier Lee reportedly saying that because the session will be very brief, it should not even be regarded as a “meeting.” According to the paper, PM Abe’s distrust of President Moon runs deep and Tokyo attaches higher priority to resolving the requisitioned workers dispute than other issues such as export controls and the GSOMIA. On the other hand, the Blue House reportedly regards the export controls as the most pressing issue for resolution in order to achieve reconciliation.
In a related story, today’s Sankei reported on Premier Lee’s attendance at the imperial enthronement ceremony yesterday, quoting him as saying that he was honored to attend the event. He reportedly posted a tweet saying he plans to meet with PM Abe and other Japanese politicians and businesspeople to exchange views on how to promote bilateral dialogue. Sankei added that Lee is also expected to interact with local college students while in Tokyo.