S.Korea's Yoon Suk-yeol calls for improving relations with Japan

S.Korea's Yoon Suk-yeol calls for improving relations with Japan

South Korea's President Yoon Suk-Yeol looks on during a tri-lateral meeting with US President and Japan's Prime Minister on the sidelines of the NATO summit at the Ifema Congress Center in Madrid on June 29, 2022. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI AFP SEOUL South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said on Monday to improve relations with Japan based on the Declaration adopted by then South Korean president Kim Dae-jung and then Japanese prime minister Keizo Obuchi.

In a Liberation Day speech Yoon said, "We need to increase South Korea-Japan relations by upholding the spirit of the Kim Dae-jung Obuchi Declaration which proposed a blueprint for a comprehensive future for South Korea-Japan relations.

The speech was to mark the 77th anniversary of the Korean Peninsula's liberation from Japan's 1910 -- 45 colonial rule.

South Korea and Japan need to face an unfortunate history with open hearts and build a relationship that is predicated on mutual understanding and trust, according to the declaration.

Yoon said that when the two countries move towards a common future and the mission of the times, based on the shared universal values, it will help solve historical problems in a right way.

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The governments of both countries must contribute to the peace and prosperity of the international community through extensive cooperation in different areas, from economic and security cooperation to social and cultural exchanges, according to Yoon.

Japan and South Korea have struggled to maintain healthy political ties for a number of years during the former administrations of Japan's Shinzo Abe and South Korea's Moon Jae-in.

The two sides were at odds over a number of issues, including the wartime labor and trade disputes.