Kishida and Yoon congratulate and improve relations as ‘shuttle diplomacy’ resumes

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said his “heart aches” over Japan’s colonial rule on the Korean Peninsula, speaking after a meeting with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol in Seoul on Sunday – the first bilateral visit by a Japanese leader in more than 12 years – as the two praised the speed of progress in their countries’ improved relationship.

The visit, which came at the start of Yun’s trip to Tokyo in March, was largely focused on maintaining momentum to improve relations after ties sank to record lows in 2018 over wartime history and other issues.

But the two leaders agreed on several issues, including sending South Korean experts to Japan to conduct scientific analysis as part of “meaningful steps” to help the South Korean public better understand Tokyo’s plan to release treated radiation. Water from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant into the ocean.

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