South Korean president focuses on promoting bilateral ties with Japan

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol on Thursday stressed his intention to continue promoting better relations with Japan.

Yoon referred to bilateral ties at news conference held a day before he marks two years in office.

He said the two countries should endure what must be endured and move forward in the right direction while at the same time recognizing that various pending issues and history could pose obstacles.

Yoon said he and Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio share a sense of mutual trust and a desire to improve bilateral ties.

South Korea's opposition retained its majority in last month's general election. Some have said this could lead to stronger calls in parliament to revise the country's policy toward Japan.

Yoon also said South Korea's low fertility rate could be considered a national emergency and announced plans to create a new ministry to tackle the issue.

The presidential news conference was the first to be held by Yoon since August 2022 when he marked his first 100 days in office.

Some observers have attributed the ruling party's crushing defeat last month to Yoon's arbitrary style of governance.

Yoon likely viewed Thursday's news conference as an opportunity to present his government's plans to a wide public audience.