Korea’s President Moon meets with Yamaguchi

November 24 , 2017

Chief Representative Yamaguchi met with President Moon at the Blue House in SeoulChief Representative Yamaguchi met with President Moon at the Blue House in Seoul

On November 23, Republic of Korea President Moon Jae-greeted the Komeito delegation led by Chief Representative Natsuo Yamaguchi at the Blue House in Seoul. President Moon and Yamaguchi agreed to work in improving South Korea-Japan ties and to closely coordinate government policies to meet the challenge posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programs. The Komeito leader also hand delivered a personal letter from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in their meeting.

President Moon opened the discussion by expressing gratitude to Komeito for its efforts to strengthen bilateral relations, with Yamaguchi replying that his party remains more committed than ever to that end.

Yamaguchi emphasized that Japan and South Korea are neighbors vital to each other in that they share common strategic interests. He acknowledged that it was necessary for the international community to come together and continue pressuring the Pyongyang regime into reevaluating its destabilizing programs and seek dialogue instead.

President Moon agreed with Yamaguchi’s stance, citing the need to carefully manage the situation so that it does not get out of control. In response to Abe’s letter, moreover, the South Korean president referred to a maxim asserting that, in a crisis, one should depend more on one’s closest neighbors than on distant kin. He said that he was looking forward to visiting Japan to meet with the prime minister and hoped that a trilateral summit meeting that includes Chinese President Xi Jinping may be realized as soon as possible.

Yamaguchi referred to the more than five million South Korea tourists traveling to Japan last year, saying that many Japanese are equally keen to reciprocate. He said that it was the duty of legislators of both nations to “create an environment in which our people may travel to and fro at will and without restriction.” He added that although various issues stand before South Korea and Japan, these “should be handled in appropriate ways in order to build bilateral ties that are truly oriented to the future” and not obsessed with the past.

During his talk with Yamaguchi, President Moon extended an invitation for Prime Minister Abe to visit PyeongChang during the 2018 Winter Olympiad.