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Seoul's new ambassador to Tokyo says Moon suggests talks with Japanese PM Suga Updated: 2021-01-18 03:53:23 KST

South Korea's new ambassador to Japan, Kang Chang-il, said President Moon Jae-in is determined to get Seoul-Tokyo ties back on track.
At a virtual press conference on Sunday, he said the President is very supportive of the Tokyo Olympics slated for this year, and mentioned possible talks with his Japanese counterpart.

"President Moon told me that he would not hesitate to play any role, if necessary, to ensure the successful hosting of the Tokyo Olympics. And he said he hopes to meet and have candid talks with Prime Minister Suga."

The former lawmaker told reporters that he feels pressure taking the job at a time when relations are at a low, suggesting that mending those ties will be one of his priorities.

"Bilateral ties are at their worst since the 1965 normalization of our relations. Historical conflicts have been affecting them in terms of economy and security. How to overcome this remains a major issue between the two countries. Both countries have a pile of work to do through exchanges and cooperation."

On the issue of the recent court ruling on the Korean victims of Japan's wartime sexual enslavement, he suggested arbitration by a third country rather than going to the International Court of Justice.
Kang added that the South Korean government has already said it respects the 2015 agreement between Seoul and Tokyo.

Kang said that he plans to meet with a wide range of business people and lawmakers in Japan to discuss the issue of compensating the Korean victims of Japan's wartime forced labor.
The new ambassador added that he has around a dozen ideas that he has collected from experts on ways to solve the issue wisely, though he did not give further details.
He said he believes U.S. President-elect Joe Biden will be making a great deal of efforts to achieve reconciliation between Seoul and Tokyo because of their trilateral cooperation with Washington.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.
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