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ROK research entity calls for improvement of ties with Japan

Mainichi wrote from Seoul that an economic research institution affiliated with South Korea’s biggest business federation released a report on Tuesday calling for the ROK and the Japanese governments to pursue reconciliation since the frosty ties have damaged bilateral trade. The think tank analyzed the size of the nation’s trade with the U.S., Japan, China, and the EU between 2019 and 2020 and compared these figures with the corresponding figures between 2017 and 2018. It found that trade with Japan plunged by almost 12% and that Japanese investment in South Korea’s manufacturing industry also plummeted by about 60% during the same period. Because the bilateral ties deteriorated precipitously following the 2018 Supreme Court ruling ordering Nippon Steel to pay compensation to former requisitioned workers, the think tank concluded that the “political and diplomatic friction” caused a significant contraction in bilateral trade, calling for the two governments to make accelerated efforts to restore viable economic cooperation.

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