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President Yoon Suk-yeol, left, is scheduled to meet with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida next week in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Meeting. Photo courtesy of governments of South Korea and Japan

First summit of the two countries in three years

Leaders of South Korea and Japan will meet next week for the first time in three years, according to the former’s presidential house on Sept. 22.

Kim Tae-hyo, the first deputy director of the National Security Office, told a press briefing that President Yoon Suk-yeol would meet with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

The summit will take place on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The latest summit between the two countries was held in December 2019 in China where former President Moon Jae-in and the late Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sat for formal talks.

The relationships between Seoul and Tokyo have been frayed because of disputes related to the latter’s colonial rule of the former between 1910 and 1945.

Topping other things off, the compensation of forced labor victims and wartime sexual slavery has been prominent issues.

Yoon also plans to meet U.S. President Joe Biden for the second time in four months, following the previous one in Seoul in late May.

“Yoon will visit the United States to take part in the UN General Assembly on Sept. 20 and 21. He is scheduled to have summits with his U.S. and Japanese counterparts,” Kim said.

“The details have yet to be agreed upon, including the exact time of the summits.”

President Yoon is slated to fly to London to attend the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II before visiting the United States and Canada.

During the seven-day overseas trip, Yoon is set to deliver his first address to the UN General Assembly on Sept. 20.

He is expected to speak on such topics as global supply chains, competition between major economies on leading-edge technologies, worries about climate change, and Seoul’s relationship with Pyongyang.

“There are so many points where South Korea and Japan can cooperate, including ones regarding China and North Korea,” Prof. Kim Tae-hyun at Chung-Ang University said.

“However, the two neighbors failed to do so because of historical controversies. I hope they will mend fences to find out forward-looking solutions.”

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The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at voc200@gmail.com or 82-2-6956-6698.