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2018-04-15 19:04
[ED] No 'Japan passing'

Closer security needed with Tokyo for denuclearizing Pyongyang

“Japan passing” is a local term that media here use for Tokyo's seeming isolation in negotiations on North Korea's denuclearization.

Tokyo has been rather left out in international diplomacy regarding Pyongyang. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un recently met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Kim's first overseas trip, and is set to meet President Moon Jae-in, April 27. A U.S.-North Korea summit is also about to take place.

President Moon dispelled concerns about “Japan passing” by meeting Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono at Cheong Wa Dae last week.

Kono's trip to Korea was the first by Tokyo's top diplomat since December 2015 when the leaders of the two countries signed a deal over the wartime sexual slavery issue. The Japanese foreign minister also met his Korean counterpart Kang Kyung-wha earlier.

Cheong Wa Dae announced that Korea, Japan and China would resume their trilateral summits in Tokyo in May, the first time such talks will have been held since 2015.

It is a good sign that the leaders of Japan and Korea will meet soon. The resumption of high-level exchanges between them could be an opportunity to promote bilateral relations and security cooperation.

Japan is a key partner for regional security, so it is vital for the Moon administration to foster strong relations with Japan despite various historical issues that have hampered bilateral relations in the past. Korea and Japan should consult each closely as international diplomacy over North Korea's denuclearization unfolds in coming weeks.




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