South Korea Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho attends the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Nusa Dua, on Indonesia resort island of Bali, on July 16, 2022. (Photo by MADE NAGI / POOL / AFP) (Photo by MADE NAGI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Made Nagi | Afp | Getty Images
South Korea’s finance minister says the nation sees is at a “turning point” in economic relations with Japan.
Speaking to CNBC’s Chery Kang at the Asian Development Bank’s annual meeting in Incheon, South Korea’s finance minister and deputy prime minister Choo Kyung-ho praised Tokyo’s recent decision to restore South Korea to a list of preferred trade partners.
“My understanding is that Japan is processing this according to its legislative and administrative procedures,” Choo said, according to a CNBC translation. adding that South Korean officials hope the process will be completed “as soon as possible.”
“We believe that unnecessary regulations between the two countries will be entirely removed, and we believe that we’re now at a turning point for further cooperation between the two economies,” said Choo.
The thaw in Japan and Korea’s bilateral relations comes after South Korea announced its companies would compensate people who were forced to work during Japan’s 1910-1945 occupation of Korea – a bid by South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol to improve the strained ties between the two nations.
Earlier this week, the two countries also held their first bilateral finance ministerial meeting in seven years, agreeing to resume regular talks “at an appropriate timing,” according to reports of Choo’s Japanese counterpart Shunichi Suzuki’s remarks after his meeting.
Choo said the recent talks with Suzuki will lead to further economic cooperation between the two U.S. allies.
“The recent bilateral summit has opened things up for improvement. So we can now anticipate cooperation between the two countries, in expansion of industrial and technology cooperation, as well as humanitarian exchange programs for youths,” he said. “We believe this will benefit both countries mutually, economy-wise, and contribute to the regional growth as well,” he said.
Choo added that the bilateral relationship will be “mutually beneficial” for high-tech industries, including semiconductors.
“Especially in sectors that we see both countries being placed in a ‘win-win’ situation, such as strengthening high-tech industrial sectors – we believe this is why Japan and Korea are both actively taking part in pushing for further cooperation through ministerial talks and dialogue between government agencies, which we plan to strengthen further,” he said.
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