NHK reported on a teleconference between Prime Minister Kishida and South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol this morning, during which they agreed to deepen cooperation to improve bilateral ties, achieve North Korea’s denuclearization, and resolve the abduction issue. After congratulating Yoon on his victory, Kishida said: “Japan and South Korea are mutually important neighbors. At a time when the global community is experiencing an epoch-making shift in international relations, sound ties between Japan and South Korea are indispensable for defending the rules-based international order and ensuring peace, stability, and prosperity in the region and the world. Trilateral coordination with the United States is also important.” The premier then expressed hope for the next Korean president’s leadership to improve bilateral relations, which he insisted should be built upon the friendly and cooperative ties that have been forged since diplomatic normalization in 1965. Yoon reportedly stated in reply that he attaches importance to the bilateral ties and pledged efforts to improve them. They also agreed to begin making arrangements for a summit at an early date.