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PM Kishida Considering Visit To South Korea In Summer Post-G7: Kyodo


Japan's Kyodo News reporting that PM Fumio Kishida is considering a visit to South Korea as soon as this summer following the G7 summit in Hiroshima in May. The South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol will visit Tokyo this week for the first visit of a South Korean head of state in 12 years. The improvement in relations between the two sides remains in its early stages, but closer ties could see the two enhance cooperation on security matters related to North Korea and China.

  • The US has long pushed for this, with US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emmanuel stating that “in the larger context of our strategic alignment … is a very big deal.”
  • The visit comes as the two sides seek to reach an agreement over a long-running labour dispute relating to Japan's occupation of the Korean peninsula in the first half of the 20th century.
  • It also comes as North Korea maintains its belligerent stance towards both Seoul and Tokyo, with two ballistic missiles launched in waters off of its east coast last night. These were launched two days after two (nuclear-capable) strategic cruise missiles were fired from North Korean submarines, seen as a response to the largest joint US-South Korean military exercises in five years.
  • Kishida's visit would be the first by a Japanese PM to South Korea since the late Shinzo Abe met with then-President Moon Jae-in in 2019.

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