President Yoon Suk Yeol met with former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Wednesday and discussed the recent improvement in the bilateral relationship, his office said.
Suga was visiting Seoul in his capacity as the new chief of the Japan-Korea Parliamentarians' Union following an invitation from Yoon during their previous meeting in Tokyo in March.
"The president said a complete restoration of the bilateral relationship was achieved through the three South Korea-Japan summits in the past two months," presidential spokesperson Lee Do-woon said in a written briefing, referring to Yoon's meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
Yoon called for jointly responding to the international community's diverse agenda as the two countries sharing values and interests give shape to their security, economic and technological cooperation.
"In particular, he called for working together to ensure the peoples of the two nations feel the benefits of the improvement in the South Korea-Japan relationship through actual implementation, not simply declarations or words," Lee said.
Yoon also asked Suga to play a central role in reviving exchanges and communication between the two countries' lawmakers, given the important role the parliamentarians' union plays in shaping public opinion in Japan regarding South Korea-Japan relations.
Suga responded that the change in the bilateral relationship over the past year would not have been possible without Yoon's strong leadership and determination.
He also promised to continue to work through the union to ensure the achievements in resolving bilateral disputes spread to other areas as well, Lee said.
Suga further noted the growing importance of security cooperation between South Korea and Japan, as well as trilaterally with the United States, demonstrated earlier Wednesday in North Korea's ballistic missile launch carried out under the pretext of a satellite launch.
In response, Yoon said he hopes the three countries will take bold steps with the support of the South Korean and Japanese people and the commitment of their politicians to contribute to world peace and prosperity through trilateral security and economic cooperation, according to Lee.
Earlier in the day, Yoon also met with Linda Mills, president-designate of New York University, and discussed ways to establish a new digital order through joint efforts by relevant institutions such as NYU and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. (Yonhap)