South Korean prime minister to attend Abe’s funeral in Japan

Seoul, Sep 16 (EFE).- South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo is set to visit Japan later this month to attend the funeral of former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, in a trip that could help improve ties between the neighboring countries.

Han would be accompanied by the deputy speaker of the national assembly – the South Korean parliament – Chung Jing-suk, who doubles up as the interim leader of the ruling People Power Party, a spokesperson for the prime minister’s office said in a presser on Thursday.

The two leaders would head a South Korean delegation on Sep. 27 at the state funeral in honor of Abe, who was assassinated in July while delivering a speech at a street rally.

The spokesperson said that although the visit’s duration had not been fixed yet, the PM would meet Japanese political leaders and businesspersons during his stay.

Han is set to become the highest-ranking South Korean representative to visit Japan since conservative president Yoon Suk-yeol assumed office in Seoul last year, and the trip has triggered hopes that ties between the two sides could improve with Yoon’s new government coming to power.

Ties between the two nations had deteriorated to their lowest level in decades during the government of South Korean ex-president Moon Jae-in, mainly due to differences over how to view the atrocities committed by Japan during its occupation of the Korean peninsula between 1910-1945.

Some analysts have expressed hope that the bilateral relations could improve under the Yoon administration, which has asserted that the two sides are capable of resolving both “past and future issues” at once. EFE


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