Japan PM Kishida to visit South Korea’s Yoon ahead of G-7 summit

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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Tuesday he is arranging a trip to South Korea for talks with President Yoon Suk Yeol in return for his March visit to Tokyo, aiming to further strengthen their ties before the upcoming Group of Seven summit.
Tokyo and Seoul have been working to repair relations that were strained over wartime history disputes as they deepen three-way security cooperation with Washington in response to growing regional threats from North Korea and China.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday in Ghana as part of his multi-nation trip to Africa and Singapore, Kishida said he hopes to visit May 7-8 and exchange views with Yoon on ways to speed up the bolstering of bilateral ties and discuss regional and global issues.
If my South Korea visit is achieved ahead of the G-7 summit, I expect it will be a great opportunity to give impetus to our ‘shuttle diplomacy’ and have a heart-to-heart exchange of our views on accelerating Japan-South Korea ties and drastically changing the global situation, said Kishida, who is hosting the May 19-21 summit in Hiroshima.
Later Tuesday, both governments confirmed Kishida’s trip and their talks in Seoul.
Yoon’s office said Kishida will make a working visit to South Korea with his wife, Yuko Kishida, following the president’s invitation during his Tokyo visit in March, marking a fresh start in their diplomacy. Kishida’s office said talks between the leaders were scheduled for Sunday.