Kishida, Yoon to have summit meeting in Tokyo on Thursday

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol are scheduled to have a summit meeting in Tokyo on Thursday.

It will be the first trip to Japan by a South Korean president since 2019, when a Group of 20 summit was held. It will be the first meeting in Japan in 12 years, if visits for attending international gatherings are excluded.

The summit comes after Seoul announced a plan to settle a wartime labor issue that has plagued bilateral ties for years.

Kishida plans to tell Yoon that he values the measure unveiled by South Korea.

The leaders are expected to confirm the resumption of mutual visits, which have not taken place for more than 10 years. The step is aimed at improving bilateral relations that are said to have sunk to the lowest point since World War Two under the previous South Korean government.

Some Japanese government officials are proposing that Yoon should be invited to the Group of Seven summit scheduled for May in Hiroshima. Arrangements are currently underway.

The two leaders are also scheduled to dine together in the Ginza district including at a restaurant where Yoon reportedly visited with his father.

Kishida will seek to exchange frank views with the South Korean president, aiming to build mutual trust.