S.Korean candidate willing to improve Japan ties

The presidential candidate of South Korea's main opposition party has expressed a willingness to improve relations with Japan.

Yoon Suk-yeol held a news conference in Seoul on Friday to meet reporters from foreign media.

The former top prosecutor will run as the People Power Party's candidate in the presidential election to be held in March next year.

Speaking about relations between South Korea and Japan, Yoon gave a positive assessment of the 1998 joint declaration that called for building a future-oriented relationship.

He said he will design a new 50 years for South Korea-Japan relations marked by shared values and interests, and the creation of trust.

As for issues including wartime labor and those referred to as comfort women, Yoon promised to seek a comprehensive solution. He expressed his hope to solve such problems through bilateral cooperation.

On security, he said South Korea, the United States and Japan need to step up intelligence-sharing and defense cooperation as long as North Korea keeps building up its nuclear weapons and continues missile tests.

Meanwhile, Lee Jae-myung, who was chosen as the presidential candidate for the ruling Democratic Party, has also showed his intention to improve ties with Japan. But he told reporters on Wednesday that he wonders whether Japan is a friendly state that can be trusted at all times.