Prime Minister Abe, it is a pleasure to meet you here. Congratulations on your becoming Japan’s longest-serving prime minister and on your successful leadership as the first prime minister in the first year of the Reiwa era. I look forward to Japan’s continued advancement and prosperity through the “beautiful harmony” indicated by the new era’s name.
Our summit today is garnering considerable attention inside and outside Korea. People in Japan and Korea as well as other parts of the world were also keenly interested in the fact that we held a brief meeting in Bangkok. We both know what their expectations are all about.
I believe having face-to-face meetings and candid discussions provide the strongest means for us to resolve pending issues between our two countries. At our previous meeting in Bangkok, we reaffirmed the principle that issues involving Korea and Japan must be addressed through dialogue. Thus, our two countries’ diplomatic and export control authorities are now in consultations with those aims. I hope that officials on both sides will put their heads together and quickly draw up a plan for a judicious solution.
Japan and the Republic of Korea are each other’s closest neighbors geographically as well as historically and culturally. We are also key partners for mutual prosperity when it comes to trade and people-to-people exchanges. Temporary discomfort notwithstanding, our two countries absolutely cannot be allowed to drift apart.
I hope that our close forward-looking cooperation related to economic, cultural and people-to-people exchanges will be further strengthened and that we will always work together in the interest of peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia.
I look forward to having candid discussions with Your Excellency today so that we can offer a gift of hope to the peoples of our two countries as well as to the international community.