By Xu Aiying and Lee Hana
"We must face the truth to build a stable, forward-thinking relationship between Korea and Japan. We should set right our principles of justice by placing ourselves in each other's shoes and become true friends."
President Moon Jae-in on Nov. 18 said this in a congratulatory message sent to the 54th Joint General Meeting of the Korea-Japan and Japan-Korea Cooperation Committees in Seoul.
"After ending years of conflict, the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia as a whole are writing a new chapter of history marked by peace and harmony. Japan playing a constructive role in this regard is crucial," he said.
On Nov. 19, Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon held a meeting with Hideo Watanabe, acting head of a Japanese parliamentary committee on bilateral cooperation with Korea, at the Central Government Complex in Seoul on boosting bilateral relations.
Citing the year of the Kim-Obuchi Declaration (1998) as a time when Korean-Japanese relations reached new heights, Lee said, "While a number of issues still need to be addressed, both countries should take cues from the wisdom shown by past leaders."
Founded in 1969, or four years after Seoul and Tokyo formalized ties in 1965, the Joint General Meeting of the Korea-Japan and Japan-Korea Cooperation Committees is a forum for public discussion between the two sides.