Much attention is being paid to whether Lotte Group chairman Shin Dong-bin will have a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with Japan building trade barriers against South Korea. The meeting is said to be highly likely in that their families as well as the two already know each other well. At present, the chairman is staying in Japan, having meetings with local financiers.
In fact, Lotte Group is not engaged in the semiconductor industry, where the Japanese government is building the barriers. Nonetheless, the chairman’s role is drawing attention in that he is one of the most well-known South Korean entrepreneurs doing business in both Japan and South Korea. Many are expecting that the chairman will meet with the prime minister sooner or later so that the impasse between the two countries can be dealt with at least to some extent.
Such expectations are rooted in the chairman’s wide personal connections in the political circle of Japan. The two families have been close to each other for decades. The prime minister attended the wedding reception of the chairman’s eldest son. The chairman’s mother Shigemitsu Hatsuko is a daughter of a noble Japanese family as with his wife Shigemitsu Minami.
The chairman of Lotte Group is likely to return to South Korea before the group’s presidential meeting scheduled for July 16 to 19.