Moon calls for Kishida to make joint efforts to improve bilateral ties

November 10, 2021

 President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday congratulated Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on his reelection, calling for joint efforts to improve relations between the two countries, an official said.

Moon sent a congratulatory letter to Kishida earlier in the day after Kishida was reelected as Japan’s prime minister, with his governing party scoring a major win in parliamentary elections.

In the letter, Moon called for Kishida to work together to improve bilateral ties and cope with global issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, according to presidential spokesperson Park Kyung-mee.

Relations between South Korea and Japan have been stuck in the force labor row for years since Japan imposed export curbs against the South in 2019 in retaliation against South Korean Supreme Court rulings that Japanese firms should pay compensation to forced labor victims.

Japan has claimed all reparation issues stemming from its 1910-45 colonial occupation of the Korean Peninsula were settled under a 1965 treaty that normalized relations between the two countries, and urged the South to come up with acceptable solutions.

Last month, Moon and Kishida held their first telephone talks and they agreed to accelerate diplomatic consultations between the two countries to resolve the protracted row over wartime forced labor.