South Korea and Japan Reconcile Bilateral Cooperation
The Two Nations Will Resume Their 'Shuttle Meeting' in December
In a move signaling a shift in bilateral collaboration beyond the military realm, South Korea and Japan have agreed to revive their financial cooperation despite heightened geopolitical risks. The decision comes after the suspension of regular bilateral meetings since 2016, Radio Free Asia reported on Tuesday, October 3.
On October 3, Reuters reported that Japan and South Korea's financial regulator agencies had agreed to resume the regular "shuttle meeting' between the two nations, after steady efforts to repair operations overall this year, including a currency swap deal that was revived in June.
During a meeting held in Tokyo on Tuesday, Kim Joo-hyun, Chairman of South Korea's Financial Services Commission, and Teruhisa Kurita, Governor of Japan's Financial Services Agency, discussed the digitalization of financial services and highlighted the need for further dialogue in this area. They also explored ways to strengthen measures aimed at fostering financial stability.
A joint statement released by Seoul and Tokyo confirmed that the two countries will hold their first formal bilateral meeting of financial authorities in seven years this December, with the South Korean capital serving as the venue. This development indicates a positive turn in the relations between the two key U.S. allies, as their cooperation now extends into the financial sector.
The longstanding disputes between South Korea and Japan, primarily centered around historical issues stemming from Japan's colonial rule over the Korean peninsula, have strained their relationship. Notably, the compensation of forced laborers and 'comfort women'—a Japanese euphemism for wartime sex slaves—has been a major point of contention. The inability to find a resolution on these matters has had wide-ranging implications, affecting not only military and economic security but also regional stability.
This recent meeting between the financial authorities of both countries suggests a potential reconciliation and a step towards resolving their differences.
Reconciliation aligns with U.S. President Joe Biden's mission to unite allies in addressing regional challenges, particularly those posed by China. With South Korea and Japan being key players in the region, their cooperation is crucial in maintaining stability and countering common threats.
The decision to resume financial cooperation signifies a broader willingness to find common ground and work towards shared goals. By prioritizing discussions on digitalization and financial stability, South Korea and Japan are acknowledging the importance of adapting to the evolving financial landscape and addressing potential risks.
As the two countries prepare for their upcoming bilateral meeting, it is expected that they will continue to explore avenues for collaboration and seek mutually beneficial solutions. This renewed focus on financial cooperation demonstrates a commitment to overcoming historical grievances and strengthening ties in the face of geopolitical challenges.
Overall, the decision to resume regular bilateral meetings in the financial sector between South Korea and Japan is a positive step towards reconciliation and enhanced cooperation. It serves as a reminder that even amidst geopolitical tensions, diplomatic channels can be utilized to find common ground and pave the way for a more stable and prosperous future.