South Korean President Lee Myung-bak arrived in Japan on Saturday for an official visit. The trip includes talks with Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on strengthening bilateral relations and other pressing issues.
The South Korean leader is said to meet Korean residents in Japan before his official two-day schedule starts. PM Noda will be hosting a dinner at the country’s old capital of Kyoto on the day of Lee’s arrival.
For the first time since he took office in 2008, Lee made a public comment urging Japan to make a ”political decision” to resolve the issue of wartime sex slavery. A civic group supporting women’s plight has built a monument near Japan’s embassy in Seoul. The Japanese government has asked for the removal of the said statue.
The scheduled talks between the two leaders will substantially tackle bilateral economic partnership agreement as well as defense cooperation in the light of security threats involving North Korea.
Noda earlier made a state visit to South Korea in October. Lee’s visit to the country in return is a gesture of continuing shuttle diplomacy between the two countries after 2 ½ years. Relations between South Korea and Japan were strained over territorial claim of South Korea’s easternmost Dokdo islets.
Photo by World Economic Forum