President Yoon Suk Yeol from March 16-17 visited Japan at the invitation of the Japanese government, the first Korean leader to do so in four years.
In his 85-minute summit with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, the president agreed to improve bilateral ties in a larger number of fields including national security, diplomacy and economy.
On March 17, President Yoon held a meeting with key political figures from the Korea-Japan Parliamentarians Union and a Japan-Korea committee to exchange constructive opinions on the direction of improving two-way ties, including revival of exchange and cooperation in a range of fields.
The presidential office called the visit "a big success."
This is a photo essay of President Yoon's first trip to Japan.
President Yoon Suk Yeol (right) on March 16 shakes hands with Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shunsuke Takei upon arrival at Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Japan. On the same day, the president held a bilateral summit with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, resuming "shuttle diplomacy" between the two sides that had been suspended for 12 years.
President Yoon Suk Yeol (eighth from left) and first lady Kim Keon Hee (ninth from left) on March 16 pose for a group photo with a student choir from Tokyo Korean School at a luncheon roundtable with ethnic Korean residents of Japan at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. In the first event of his visit, he thanked and gave the students words of encouragement, saying, "The community of ethnic Korean residents of Japan has been a strong supporter of our country whenever their homeland was in need, and its members contributed to raising Korea's status in Japan by actively working in their respective fields without losing their pride even under difficult conditions."
President Yoon Suk Yeol (left) on the afternoon of March 16 holds a joint news conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on their summit talks at the Prime Minister's Office of Japan in Tokyo. In his statement, President Yoon said his administration's announcement of a solution to the forced labor issue has laid the cornerstone for both nations to discuss the direction of future-oriented development. He also emphasized that the two leaders will continue active communication and cooperation regardless of format.
President Yoon Suk Yeol (left) and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on the afternoon of March 16 give a toast at Rengatei, a Western-style restaurant in Tokyo's Ginza district. Both men moved to this venue after having dinner with their spouses at Yoshizawa, a famed sukiyaki (Japanese hot pot) restaurant, to chat over beer, soju (traditional Korean alcohol) and omurice (Japanese omelet rice).
First lady Kim Keon Hee (left) on March 16 makes traditional Japanese sweets with her Japanese counterpart Yuko Kishida at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo. Receiving an invitation to make the desserts, the Korean first lady presented traditional Korean confectionary, hangwa, as a gift and said, "Like how we shared our hearts today, I expect the people of our countries to interact more closely as well," thanking Japan's first lady for her hospitality and inviting her to Korea.
President Yoon Suk Yeol (middle) on the afternoon of March 17 speaks at the Korea-Japan Business Roundtable held at the Japan Business Foundation in Tokyo. He was the first incumbent Korean leader since 2009 to attend the event featuring business leaders from both countries, according to the presidential office in Seoul. "To overcome complex crises facing the world, solidarity and cooperation among countries that share universal values are important," he said. "Let us jointly cooperate and respond to various global agendas like supply chains, climate change, cutting-edge science and technology, and economic security."
First lady Kim Keon Hee on March 17 takes a photo with students at Tokyo Korean School in the city's Shinjuku district. "Politics has borders but not culture and education," she said. "I ask you, as symbols of exchanges between both countries, to play the role of a bridge to further strengthen bilateral relations."
President Yoon Suk Yeol (second from left) on March 17 shakes hands with Yoshihide Suga, the former prime minister of Japan and now the incoming head of the Korea-Japan Parliamentarians Union. The president also met leading figures from Korean-Japanese friendship groups like outgoing union chief Fukushiro Nukaga and Taro Aso, another former Japanese prime minister and now chair of a Japan-Korea committee, and exchanged constructive opinions on the direction of improving bilateral ties.
President Yoon Suk Yeol (left) on March 17 gives a lecture on future generations of Korea and Japan at Keio University in Tokyo. Speaking to hundreds of students on a topic targeting those from both countries, he said, "Everyone here is part of the future generations of Korea and Japan," adding, "I expect all of you to consider the future and actively communicate with Korean youth." His speech was the final event of his visit and he flew back to Korea on the same day.
Photos = Office of the President
By Park Hye Ri