Yoon says S. Korea, Japan ready to move forward despite historic problems

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said Thursday at a news conference marking the second anniversary of his presidency that his country and Japan are ready to move forward on the basis of mutual trust built over time. years, while noting that historical issues could pose an obstacle.

“There are differences between the positions of the people of South Korea and Japan on historical and other issues. But, when it comes to South Korea-Japan relations, we should think about what to do for our future generations,” Yoon said.

He added that the two countries must cooperate to confront North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons and ensure their leadership in the global community.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol holds a news conference at his office in Seoul on May 9, 2024, a day before the second anniversary of his inauguration. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Yoon’s People Power Party suffered a crushing defeat in the April 10 general election, with the main opposition Democratic Party and its affiliate retaining a parliamentary majority.

Bilateral relations, which have improved since Yoon took office on May 10, 2022, hit their lowest point after South Korea’s Supreme Court in 2018 ordered two Japanese companies to compensate plaintiffs South Koreans for forced labor during wartime.

In March 2023, Yoon’s administration decided to compensate plaintiffs in a series of wartime labor cases with money from a fund backed by the South Korean government rather than seek relief directly to the Japanese companies being prosecuted.

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