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Japan biz leaders, S. Korea’s Lee affirm need for exchanges

Tokyo, Oct. 24 (Jiji Press)–Japanese business leaders and visiting South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon confirmed on Thursday the importance of the two countries’ business circles continuing personnel exchanges and dialogue at a time when bilateral political tensions continue.

The economies of South Korea and Japan are connecting with each other, and the economic relations should not be stalled, Lee said at the beginning of a luncheon meeting with the Japanese business leaders in Tokyo.

Both governments should move to resolve pending bilateral issues and mend fences by gathering wisdom, he also said, stressing that they can do it.

Tokyo-Seoul relations have deteriorated sharply due to wartime labor issues and a tit-for-tat trade battle, among other challenges.
Japanese participants in the 90-minute lunch session included Hiroaki Nakanishi, chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), the nation’s biggest business lobby, Nobuyuki Koga, chairman of major brokerage house Nomura Holdings Inc. <8604>, and Mikio Sasaki, special adviser at major trader Mitsubishi Corp. <8058>, who heads the Japan-Korea Economic Association.

One of the participating business leaders said the two countries should build a new relationship by working together on common challenges, such as the aging of society and responses to digital innovation.

Another expressed concern over slumping sales of Japanese-made consumer goods in South Korea.

While Japan and South Korea face many difficult issues, Lee and the business sector share the view that efforts should be made to improve the situation, Nakanishi told reporters after the meeting.

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