Send to

S. Korean lawmakers to visit Tokyo for annual meeting with Japanese counterparts

Sept. 14, 2023 - 10:25 By Yonhap
Rep. Chung Jin-suk (center) and other members of the South Korea-Japan Parliamentarians' Union walk to board a plane to Japan at Gimpo International Airport in western Seoul, in this file photo taken Sep. 26, 2022. (Yonhap)

Dozens of lawmakers from the ruling and opposition parties were to depart for Tokyo on Thursday for an annual meeting with their Japanese counterparts.

A total of 39 members of the South Korea-Japan Parliamentarians' Union are scheduled to meet with Korean residents in Japan later Thursday before attending the union's 44th joint conference with Japanese lawmakers Friday.

They also plan to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday.

During the conference, the lawmakers plan to discuss pending issues between the two countries and ways to bolster parliamentary diplomacy and adopt a joint statement summing up their discussions.

This year's conference comes as relations between Seoul and Tokyo have warmed significantly following South Korea's decision in March to compensate Korean victims of Japanese wartime forced labor on its own without asking for contributions from Japanese firms.

The thaw in relations was little affected by Japan's release of treated radioactive water from its crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean, as Seoul has maintained the discharge will have little effect on the environment as long as it is done in a scientifically safe way.

Twenty-six of the South Korean lawmakers are from the ruling People Power Party, including the union's co-chair Rep. Chung Jin-suk, 11 from the main opposition Democratic Party, as well as Rep. Lee Eun-ju from the minor Justice Party and independent lawmaker Yang Jung-suk.

The South Korea-Japan Parliamentarians' Union is a meeting to foster exchanges between lawmakers from the two countries and holds a meeting every year, alternating between Seoul and Tokyo. Its latest joint conference was held in Seoul last November.

The South Korean lawmakers are scheduled to return home on Saturday. (Yonhap)