SKorea, Japan company leaders vow to enhance cooperation

TOKYO (AP) — South Korea and Japan really should collaborate a lot more on sophisticated technologies, climate modify and financial safety, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol stated Friday, searching ahead right after the two sides agreed to place aside rancor more than trade and historical troubles.

“I believe there is a lot of area for cooperation amongst the two nations in future higher-tech new industries such as digital transformation, semiconductors, batteries, and electric automobiles,” Yoon told a gathering in Tokyo of company leaders from each nations.

“The governments of the two nations will do almost everything to aid you interact freely and produce revolutionary company possibilities,” Yoon stated.

The meeting followed talks amongst Yoon and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday that sought to turn a web page on the longstanding grievances that have divided the two U.S. allies. South Korea and Japan are looking for now to type a united front, driven by shared issues more than North Korea, China and Russia.

Throughout Yoon’s pay a visit to, the 1st such formal summit hosted by Japan in 12 years, South Korea announced it was dropping its complaint to the Globe Trade Organization alleging Japan’s unfair trade practices, when Tokyo stated it will lift the export controls on higher-tech goods important for computer system-chips production, imposed in 2019, on shipments to South Korea.

Yoon Suk Yeol was the guest of honor at the Tokyo “business round-table” more than a lunch of French cuisine attended by about a dozen company leaders from each nations.

Reiji Takehara, director of the International Cooperation Bureau at Keidanren, stated the mood was pretty constructive at Friday’s hour-and-a-half-extended meeting, which was closed to media except for the opening remarks.

“There was a lot of laughter, and every person was friendly. We didn’t sense even a tiny bit of tension,” Takehara told reporters.

The South Korean group was led by Kim Byong-joon, acting chairman of the Federation of Korean Industries, the nation’s best company group, who traveled with Yoon. Executives from Samsung Electronics, Hyundai and LG have been also aspect of the entourage.

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Yoon joked about his appreciate for Japanese meals and stressed there was “light at the finish of a extended tunnel” of troubled relations, according to a Japanese official who briefed reporters right after the meeting at Keidanren Kaikan, the headquarters of Japan’s best company lobby.

Challenges stay. A 2018 South Korean Supreme Court choice ordering economic compensation from Japanese businesses for forced labor throughout Tokyo’s 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula targets big Japanese businesses Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Nippon Steel Corp., each members of the Keidanren. Representatives from these businesses did not attend Friday’s meeting.

Japan has refused to spend, stressing compensation troubles have been settled by a 1965 treaty.

Yoon’s announcement that regional funds will be utilised to compensate the victims, correctly lifting stress on the Japanese businesses, drew protests from these who suffered below Japan’s forced labor technique and their advocates. They want payments from Japan and a fresh apology.

A shift toward a lot more cordial ties amongst Seoul and Tokyo was strongly backed by the U.S. The White Residence applauded Kishida and Yoon’s meeting.

“And the United States will continue, of course, to assistance Japan and the ROK as they take methods to translate this new understanding into enduring progress,” stated White Residence National Safety Council spokesman John Kirby.

The Keidanren and the Federation of Korean Market have set up a $200 million ($1.five million) fund to market exchanges amongst young men and women, Takehara stated.

Due to the fact the normalization of relations in 1965, Japan has offered a lot more than one hundred billion yen ($750 million) in financial cooperation and help, according to Japanese estimates.

Trade amongst the two nations accounts for no a lot more than ten% of their total trade, suggesting there is area to develop. In spite of friction at the government level, tourism has boomed, with travelers from every nation getting No. two in foreign guests. So have informal cultural exchanges in the type of K-pop, anime and manga.

“The aim is to strengthen our partnership for the future,” Masakazu Tokura, chairman of Keidanren and Sumitomo Chemical Co., told reporters.


Aamer Madhani contributed to this report from Washington.

Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter

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