The 30th Korea-Japan Forum, co-organized by JCIE and the Korea Foundation, was convened in person in Tokyo this year, bringing together nearly 50 influential politicians, businesspeople, scholars, journalists, and representatives of private exchange organizations to discuss Japan-Korea relations.
This year’s forum was the first since the election of South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol, who has called for better bilateral ties with Japan, and was also significant as it was set against the backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s war on Ukraine, and growing US-China tensions over Taiwan. Forum participants were given an opportunity to address these international crises as well as domestic political shifts in consideration of how bilateral ties may be strengthened in years to come. Forum sessions covered a wide range of issues, including domestic politics, economic relations and economic security, and geopolitical concerns in the region.
The meeting also featured a video message from former South Korean Foreign Affairs Minister Gong Ro-myung, as well as a congratulatory address by Japan Foreign Affairs Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi at the 7th Korea-Japan Forum Award, which was presented to former diplomat and former president of the International Court of Justice Hisashi Owada. Mr. Owada served as the first chairman of the Korea-Japan Forum.
Finally, the forum also included the 8th Korea-Japan Junior Forum, a daylong session where university students from the two countries discussed approaches to bilateral relations.
Following the Forum, chairmen Masao Okonogi (Professor, Keio University) and Myung-hwan Ryu (former Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade) released a joint statement on the meeting, available in Japanese below.