S. Korea, Japan to hold finance ministerial meeting this month in Tokyo

Photo: en.yna.co.kr
SEOUL. KAZINFORM - South Korea and Japan plan to hold a bilateral financial ministerial meeting this month, the finance ministry here said Friday, as the two countries are gearing up to normalize economic ties after several years of trade tensions, Kazinform cites Yonhap.

Kim Seong-wook, the deputy minister for international affairs, and Japanese Vice Finance Minister Masato Kanda reached the agreement during a meeting held in Seoul, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Under the agreement, the meeting will be tentatively held in Tokyo on June 29, with agendas including the current economic trends and collaboration on infrastructure projects in other nations.

«Kim and Kanda have agreed to collaborate closely to ensure the successful hosting of the eighth financial ministerial meeting between South Korea and Japan. They expressed their hope that the annual event would further enhance the shuttle diplomacy efforts between the two countries,» the finance ministry said in a statement.

It would mark the first meeting of its kind since 2016. Shuttle diplomacy refers to regular mutual visits between the two countries.

Last month, South Korean Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho and his Japanese counterpart, Shunichi Suzuki, met on the sidelines of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank to resume their long-stalled finance ministers' meeting «at an appropriate time.»

The bilateral relationship soured in 2019, as Japan imposed export curbs against South Korea in retaliation against the 2018 South Korean Supreme Court rulings ordering Japanese firms to compensate South Korean victims of forced labor during Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

Relations between South Korea and Japan began to thaw this year after President Yoon Suk Yeol offered to resolve the forced labor issue by compensating victims on South Korea's own without asking for contributions from Japan.

Yoon made a rare visit to Tokyo in March for a bilateral summit with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, becoming the first South Korean president to make such a trip to Japan in 12 years.

Kishida reciprocated Yoon's trip with a visit to South Korea in May, also becoming the first Japanese leader to visit Seoul for a bilateral summit in 12 years.