(ATTN: ADDS more details on meeting in last 3 paras, photo)
By Lee Haye-ah and Kim Seung-yeon
TOKYO, March 17 (Yonhap) -- President Yoon Suk Yeol met with a group of business leaders from South Korea and Japan on Friday, calling for cooperation in cutting-edge industries, such as semiconductors and batteries, his office said.
Yoon attended a roundtable with 12 business leaders from the South Korean side, including Samsung Electronics Executive Chairman Lee Jae-yong and SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, and 11 from the Japanese side, including Sumitomo Chemical Chairman Masakazu Tokura and Mitsui & Co CEO Tatsuo Yasunaga.
"President Yoon said solidarity and cooperation between nations that share universal values is important in order to overcome the polycrisis faced by the world, and called on South Korea and Japan to jointly cooperate and respond to various global agenda items, including supply chains, climate change, advanced science and technology, and economic security," the presidential office said.
"He especially stressed the need for cooperation in future advanced and new industries, such as in digital transformation, semiconductors, batteries and electric vehicles."
The event was held on the second day of Yoon's two-day visit to Tokyo during which he held a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida the previous day and discussed ways to strengthen security and economic cooperation.
Yoon mentioned the agreement between the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) and the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) to each establish a "future partnership fund" to promote joint research and youth exchanges, saying he expects the projects to help deepen mutual understanding and cooperation, and lead to a stronger bilateral relationship.
The FKI said in a separate release that the participants agreed to bolster cooperation in such areas as economic security, digital and green energy, hailing the restoration of bilateral relations and the agreement to remove trade restrictions in place against each other.
"Business communities of the two countries will expand in earnest economic exchanges in various fields, from investment and joint responses to the weaponization of resources and cooperation in establishing global supply chains, as well as to normalizing people-to-people exchanges," acting FKI chief Kim Byong-joon said.
Tokura, who attended the roundtable as the Keidanren chief, stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation, calling this thawing mood "a golden opportunity that the two sides must not miss and use it to solidify the path for a forward-looking relationship," according to the FKI.