Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol have tried throughout the past year to move on from a difficult past. They have managed through repeated meetings to bring about a thaw. On Thursday, they again took the opportunity.
The two leaders met during a gathering of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in San Francisco.
They have cooperated on improving ties in seven meetings since Yoon took office last year, describing the change in relations as the opening of a "new chapter."
Kishida says they want to go even further. He told Yoon, "The world is facing a historical turning point. And I have a strong will to pursue unity instead of division and conflict. I believe Japan and South Korea can work together as partners."
The two leaders agreed earlier this year to restart talks among senior officials. Yoon says those meetings are back on track and that he wants to keep them going.
In August, US President Joe Biden encouraged the thaw in relations between the two allies, saying they have forged a foundation from which they can "face the future." He praised them for committing to working together to address threats to regional security.
Kishida and Yoon are trying to expand on those efforts by returning to talks that include China. On Friday, they will meet again and take part in a roundtable at Stanford University, where they will discuss the challenges, and future, of science and technology.