On May 13, President Park Geun-hye met with Korea-Japan Economic Association representatives who visited Seoul to attend the 47th Korea-Japan Business Conference, and asked them to take the lead in effective bilateral economic cooperation.
Korea-Japan Economic Association Chairman Mikio Sasaki, Japan Business Federation Chairman Sadayuki Sakakibara, Japanese Ambassador to Korea Koro Bessho, and many more joined the reception with their Korean counterparts. There, the Korean President suggested trade expansion, anti-protectionism, and wider FTA networks as policy measures for tiding over the global financial crisis.
She also mentioned that historical matters, including the comfort women issue, need to be handled separately from economic cooperation. The matters can be resolved only when the Japanese government makes a heartfelt apology, and cooperation between Korea and Japan is now more urgent than ever in today’s Northeast Asia.
In the meantime, the President said on May 4 that her administration would not change its diplomatic stance in the near future, and would cope with the relations with the United States, China, and Japan with clear goals and directions, while not letting the historical matters slide. Her remarks were in response to the demand from some people that the government change its diplomatic strategy to better deal with the fast-changing situations in Northeast Asia.