President Yoon Suk-yeol had talks with former Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshihide Suga Yoshihide Suga at the Office of the President in Seoul on May 31.
A news release from presidential spokesperson Lee Do Woon quoted President Yoon as telling his guest, "Through three Korea-Japan summits over the past two months, we completely restored bilateral ties."
"Korea and Japan, both of which share values and interests, must give concrete shape to cooperation in the national security, economy and technological sectors to jointly respond to the various agenda of the international community," the president added.
"Instead of just making declarations or words, let's strive together so that the people of both countries can feel the benefits of improved bilateral ties through actual implementation."
Citing the greater role played by lawmaker associations of both countries in legislative exchange, President Yoon said, "Because the Japan-Korea Friendship Association Federation plays a crucial role in forming public opinion on bilateral ties in Japan, which has a parliamentary cabinet form of government, I urge former Prime Minister Suga to play a central role in stimulating exchange and communication between lawmakers of both countries."
The former prime minister responded by saying, "The changes over the last year in Korea-Japan ties wouldn't have happened without the president's strong leadership and determination."
"With pending issues that have strained bilateral ties being resolved, I will keep striving at the level of the Japan-Korea Friendship Association Federation to spread such results to other sectors."
Mentioning North Korea's ballistic missile firing that morning that Pyeongyang claimed was the launch of a reconnaissance satellite, the former prime minister, "The importance of national security cooperation between Korea and Japan and that among Korea, the U.S. and Japan is getting bigger."
"Ultimately contributing to the peace and prosperity of people around the world through trilateral cooperation among Korea, the U.S. and Japan in national security and economy is to conform to the flow of world history," President Yoon said. "I hope to take an audacious step in this direction with the support of the people of both countries and willingness of political leaders."
Former Prime Minister Suga visited Korea in his capacity as the federation's chairman, a post he assumed on March 27. President Yoon met him on March 17 during his Japan visit and invited him to Korea.