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PM heads for Japan to attend Abe's state funeral

08:18 September 27, 2022

SEOUL, Sept. 27 (Yonhap) -- Prime Minister Han Duck-soo left for Japan on Tuesday on a two-day visit to attend the state funeral for former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and hold talks with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on its sidelines.

Shortly after arriving in Tokyo, Han is scheduled to hold a meeting with Harris, who is also in Tokyo to attend the funeral, and discuss ways for closer cooperation between the allies on economic and security issues, according to the Prime Minister's Office.

Harris plans to visit South Korea on Thursday after attending the funeral.

On Tuesday afternoon, Han will attend Abe's funeral before attending a reception hosted by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

On Wednesday morning, Han is scheduled to hold a meeting with Kishida.

The meeting comes less than a week after President Yoon Suk-yeol and Kishida held talks in New York and agreed on the need to improve relations between the two countries by resolving pending issues.

The Yoon-Kishida meeting marked the first one-on-one talks between the leaders of the two nations since December 2019 and raised hopes of improving relations badly frayed over wartime forced labor and other issues related to Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

Han has cautioned against expecting too much from the meeting with Kishida, saying they were unlikely to discuss "important issues."

South Korea and Japan "are neighbors that share their thoughts on important values such as democracy, market economy and human rights, so I hope we can have a good relationship in the future as a nation that is important for our security and economy," Han told reporters last week.

Prime Minister Han Duck-soo (C) leaves for Japan to attend the state funeral for assassinated former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sept. 27, 2022. (Yonhap)

kdh@yna.co.kr
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