By Na Jeong-ju
Japan’s Prime Minister Taro Aso arrived in Seoul Sunday for a summit today with President Lee Myung-bak that will focus on boosting economic cooperation and discussing ways of encouraging North Korea’s denuclearization..
Aso was accompanied by Fujio Mitarai, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, Tadashi Okamura, chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and several other business leaders.
It was the first time for a Japanese premier to visit Seoul with top business figures, Cheong Wa Dae said, adding it shows how Tokyo is serious about improving economic ties with Seoul.
Japan’s repeated claims to the South Korean islets of Dokdo and its alleged history distortions were excluded from the summit agenda so that Seoul and Tokyo can advance talks on economic cooperation and other issues of mutual concern, according to South Korean officials.
After arriving at Seoul Airport in Seongnam, just south of Seoul, Aso visited a national cemetery in southern Seoul. He then attended a luncheon meeting hosted by South Korean business organizations and met student leaders from the two countries.
President Lee hosted a dinner at Cheong Wa Dae to welcome the Japanese leader.
Lee and Aso will hold a summit at Cheong Wa Dae today and hold a joint press conference following their talks.
The summit is expected to highlight a closer economic cooperation between the two neighbors at a time when the global recession is deepening.
South Korean and Japanese business leaders met twice last year and agreed to cooperate on minimizing the fallout from the global economic contraction on regional economies. They also agreed to boost cooperation for the development of energy and environmental technologies in preparation for the era of “low carbon and green growth.”
Other issues include the stalled six-party talks on North Korea’s nuclear development and the possible launch of a joint program to help the United States rebuild Afghanistan, according to Japan’s Nihon Keizai Shimbun Wednesday.
[The Korea Times] | Original News @ HERE
Date : 2009/01/11