May 2. (EUROPE PRESS) –
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has announced that he will visit South Korea starting on the 7th of this month for a two-day summit that aims to meet with South Korean President Yoon Sung Yeol to improve bilateral relations.
“If various circumstances allow, we are currently making arrangements to visit South Korea on the 7th and 8th of this month,” Kishida told reporters during his visit to Ghana, as reported by NHK.
This visit, which is part of the preparations for the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, comes after Yoon visited Japan in March, agreeing to resume the visits of both leaders to their respective countries.
In addition, if it does finally take place, this will be Kishida’s first trip to South Korea since he took office, as well as the first visit by a Japanese head of government in five years, when Shinzo Abe went to meet with the country’s then president Moon Jae In.
Relations between the two nations, historically tense, had deteriorated significantly after the South Korean Supreme Court in 2018 ordered two Japanese firms to compensate victims of the colonial era. Seoul’s recent decision to compensate the victims without Japan’s involvement has been interpreted by Tokyo as a sign of Yoon’s strong commitment to improving bilateral relations amid notable challenges, such as the North Korean nuclear threat.