S. Korean prime minister to attend emperor’s enthronement ceremony

15-Oct-2019 Intellasia | Mainichi | 6:02 AM Print This Post

South Korean prime minister Lee Nak Yon will visit Tokyo next week to attend Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement ceremony, the prime minister’s office said Sunday.

As ties between Japan and South Korea have sunk to their lowest level in decades over wartime history and trade policy, it will be closely watched whether the visit leads to improved relations.

The prime minister’s Secretariat said in a statement that Lee will visit Japan from October 22 to 24 to participate in the enthronement ceremony on October 22.

Lee will attend a banquet hosted by Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, while meeting with other politicians during the three-day trip, it said.

Lee, a former Tokyo correspondent of the South Korean newspaper Dong-A Ilbo, is a fluent Japanese speaker and known to hold a positive attitude toward Japan.

Diplomatic sources well-versed in bilateral affairs said last week that Lee would likely attend the event instead of President Moon Jae In.

Bilateral ties started to chill after a series of South Korean court rulings late last year, ordering Japanese firms to compensate for wartime forced labour during Japan’s 1910-1945 colonisation.

Japan says the rulings are in breach of their bilateral accord, based on the position that both nations agreed in 1965 to settle the issue of compensation finally and completely.

After the rulings, Japanwhich says its implementation of trade restrictions is unrelated to the compensation disputetightened controls on South Korea-bound exports of key manufacturing materials, and took Seoul off its list of preferred trading partners.

South Korea retaliated by scratching Japan from its own list of trusted partners.



Category: Korea

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