South Korean President Moon Jae-in talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during their bilateral meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, on Monday. Photo: Yonhap via REUTERS
politics

Moon, Abe hold 'friendly' talks on ASEAN sidelines

17 Comments
By Jung Yeon-je

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday held their first talks for more than a year on the sidelines of a regional summit in Thailand, Moon's office said, with the neighbors' relationship in dire straits.

Ties between Seoul and Tokyo -- both of them U.S. allies facing the twin challenges of nuclear-armed North Korea and an increasingly assertive China -- are at rock-bottom over a dispute related to Japan's use of forced labour during World War II, with the countries trading retaliatory sanctions.

Moon and Abe held a "very friendly and serious" dialogue that lasted 11 minutes on the sidelines of the ASEAN Plus Three summit in Bangkok, Ko Min-jung, the South's presidential spokeswoman, told reporters.

But she gave no indication of any concrete outcomes.

"The two leaders agreed on the view that Korea-Japan ties were important and reaffirmed the principle that bilateral issues should be resolved through dialogue," she said.

Moon proposed they review a higher-level meeting if necessary, to which Abe responded that the neighbors should try to find a solution by using "every available means", Ko said.

The meeting -- their first one-on-one in 13 months -- comes after Moon did not attend the coronation of the new Japanese emperor Naruhito last month, but sent the prime minister in his place, bearing a letter to Abe.

South Korean courts have made a series of rulings against Japanese firms in recent months in cases stemming from historical issues.

In July, Japan tightened export controls on three chemicals essential to key products made by South Korean firms including Samsung. Seoul has retaliated with its own trade measures and announcing the termination of a military information-sharing agreement.

Tokyo says its decision was made on national security grounds, but the move was widely seen as a response to the compensation rulings.

Japan says all reparations claims from its 35-year colonial rule were settled under a 1965 treaty and an associated economic agreement made as the countries normalised relations.

© 2019 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

17 Comments
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More insincere useless words from Moon. The meeting was 10 minutes longer than it should have been. It is up to Moon to bring the issue back to a historical one, after having turned it into an economic one and a security one. Moon, more than any other leader in South Korean history has done more to damage SK-JPN relations.

- Provide Japan with the export information they have been requesting for 3 years, and get back on Japan's whitelist. If that is what SK wants.

Reinstate the 2015 Comfort Women Agreement and release the money that Japan paid to SK to the actual survivors.

Accept Arbitration as provided in the 1965 Treaty as Japan has requested, and determine if the SK Court ruling was in violation of the Treaty.

Reinstate GSOMIA and act as a sincere partner in the US-JPN-SK military alliance.

Make a sincere effort to improveSK-JPN relations by curtailing the influence of thre Chongdaehup, review the school textbooks for historical accuracy and fairness to stop the brainwashing of South Korean youths.

Create a fair and objective comittee with both SK and JPN scholars as well as third parties to examine the CW issue and cease using anti-Japan sentiment as a diplomatic and political tool.

Learn to abide by Agreements and Treaties with other nations.

Maybe then, South Korea may be able to regain Japan's trust. Althogh I stronly suspect Moon will be out of office before any of this could ever happen, leaving the enormous task to his successor.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

The body language looks at least promising that a bit of good will and common sense can prevail!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

A friendly talk does not mean or indicate a meaningful or productive talk.

The divide is much too much for the people of Japan when SK people themselves taunt and berate the Japanese as is enemies. Politicians cannot bridge this chasm at this time, even though there are many that "appear" to continue to be close and friendly because that is only among themselves and not the entire population of SK. Moist Japanese people are much too "idealistic" and are not thinking "realistically" and actually look at the "facts" and the data of harsh events.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

A friendly talk between these two could only be about a common enemy. Hmm? ASEAN?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A total waste of time, but I nice photo op. If the South Korean government sells the assets they seized from Mitsubishi, it will not make any difference. Winter is coming for the Japan - South Korea relationship let it be a long and cold winter.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

After the first paragraph, the guitar riff from money for nothing (dire straits) kept playing in my head. Thanks JT

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Ossan

You forgot.

Admit that the South Korean destroyer actually did lock its active (firing rangefinder) radar onto the Japanese surveillance plane and apologize for that unnecessarily dangerous action.

Instead of outright lying about the incident.

gary

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Everyone saying Korea isn't trustworthy needs to read the Kono statement and then ask themselves who reneged first

https://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/women/fund/state9308.html

We shall face squarely the historical facts as described above instead of evading them, and take them to heart as lessons of history. We hereby reiterate our firm determination never to repeat the same mistake by forever engraving such issues in our memories through the study and teaching of history.

That last bit seems to be missing from Japan somehow...

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

ASEAN leaders are expected to issue a joint statement at the end of the three day meeting, which will most likely include a section on the South China Sea.

https://worldabcnews.com/south-china-sea-news-beijing-claims-progress-in-asean-summit-talks-to-achieve-peace-world-news/

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Just a photo op, really, in an attempt by Moon to demonstrate he is still somehow in control of the leadership in SK. But Japan should not trust Moon. His real agenda is to use Japan as a scapegoat to his failing leadership and the failing SK economy.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

@garymalmgren

Admit that the South Korean destroyer actually did lock its active (firing rangefinder) radar onto the Japanese surveillance plane

Japan needs to admit its ESM equipment is subpar with lacking threats library, can't distinguish between actual FCR and a revolving type X-band search radar; it just goes off whenever it detects signal in certain frequency without able to tell what type of radar it is detecting.

That incident alone pretty destroyed the P-1's export prospect, since it advertised to the world that the P-1's ESM is third-rate and can't compare with the P-8 and even the P-3.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

That's exact time when SK was caught radar handed by the world exporting sensitive material to NK. Then all the s**t started to happen to SK n all the shouting defaming lying singing didn't work n vank is without rank these days. Japan should wait till moon ja in bcoms moon ja out then only SK n Japan relation will become normal again

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Abe and Moon have the historical responsibility to make Northeast Asia great again.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

If promises that where made are kept. If the agreements signed are respected and honored that is the foundation of the Japan S. Korea relations.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Is this the man who warned 3 months ago " Full responsibilities for what would happen in near future are to be shouldered by Japan"?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Ricky Kaminski13Nov. 4 05:28 pm JSTThe body language looks at least promising that a bit of good will and common sense can prevail!

Beautiful flowers, nice photo op for sure - but it's the people there who make all the difference.

Reagan and Gorbachev by the fireside this ain't but I don't think this is Disgraceful Don and Kim at the Korean DMZ either.

juminRheeNov. 4 07:39 pm JSTAfter the first paragraph, the guitar riff from money for nothing (dire straits) kept playing in my head. Thanks JT

How about the line from another hit from DS: 'sometimes you're the windshield/sometimes you're the bug.' That could apply in this case where the talks could go one way or the other.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How many JT readers (& posters) would be reminded of a sort of deja-vu for the way SK's approach at the last minute? Hypocrites wouldn't have any idea I guess.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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