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Korea-Japan Forum

23rd Meeting
Seoul, Korea
August 27–29, 2015

The 23rd Korea-Japan Forum was held in Seoul on December 27–29, 2015, convening 50 participants from both countries, including influential politicians, businesspeople, scholars, journalists, and representatives of private exchange organizations. As this year marks the 50th anniversary of the normalization of Korea-Japan relations as well as the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, discussion about how to deepen Korea-Japan relations over the next half-century featured prominently in each session.

In Session 1, participants spoke more candidly than ever before about issues that continue to trouble Korea-Japan relations, such as disputes over history and comfort women. Following that, participants discussed trends in China and North Korea, and in the final session they outlined Korea-Japan economic relations and grassroots exchanges, offering detailed recommendations on how to improve relations between the two countries. At a dinner reception that Minister of Foreign Affairs Yun Byung-se hosted, he spoke optimistically about his impression that Korea-Japan relations are improving.

On the final day, 18 students from both countries were brought together for the inaugural Junior Korea-Japan Forum to discuss the future of Korea-Japan relations. The students concluded the forum with a resolve to work towards building friendly relations between the countries.

About the Korea-Japan Forum

The Korea-Japan Forum was initiated in November 1993 during a summit meeting between South Korean President Kim Young-sam and Japanese Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa where they called for the formation of a new, forward-looking relationship between the two countries. The forum was modeled after the Shimoda Conference (a private forum on bilateral relations established in 1967 and cosponsored by JCIE) and was designed to address common issues and challenges that the two neighboring countries will face in coming years. This continuing dialogue has played a critical role in promoting mutual understanding and expanding the network of cooperative relationships between the two countries. JCIE and the Korea Foundation serve as the secretariats.

Leading citizens from Japan and Korea in the fields of politics, government, business, academia, the nonprofit sector, and media attended the first forum in Seoul on December 5–7, 1993. Since then, the forum has taken place annually and is held alternately in Korea and Japan.

Agenda

Thursday, August 27

Session I: Reviewing 50 Years of Korea-Japan Relations

  • Evaluating 50 years of Korea-Japan Relations
  • The Current State of Korea-Japan Relations and Remaining Challenges
Chair
  • WAKAMIYA Yoshibumi, Senior Fellow, JCIE
  • CHUNG Ku Chong, Chairman, Korea-Japan Cultural Exchange Council
Panelists
  • OKONOGI Masao, Professor Emeritus, Keio University
  • JIN Chang-Soo, President, Sejong Institute

Dinner hosted by Korean chair, YU Myung Hwan

Friday, August 28

Session II: The State of Northeast Asian Relations and the Regional Security System

  • Regional Security: Korean and Japanese Policies
  • Korean and Japanese Strategic Responses to the Rise of China
  • Deciphering Conditions in North Korea
Chair
  • OKAWARA Akio, President, JCIE
  • PARK Joon-woo, Chairman, Sejong Institute; Former Senior Secretary to the President for Political Affairs
Panelists
  • TANAKA Hitoshi, Chairman, Institute for International Strategy, Japan Research Institute, Ltd.
    • KOKUBUN Ryosei, President, National Defense Academy of Japan
  • YUN Dukmin, Chancellor, Korea National Diplomatic Academy
    • MOON Chung-in, Professor, Yonsei University

Session III: Forging New Relationships between Korea and Japan (PART 1)

  • Korea-Japan Economic Relations and Grassroots Exchanges
Chair
  • OKONOGI Masao, Professor Emeritus, Keio University
  • SHIM Kyu Sun, Associate Executive Director, Donga Ilbo
Panelists
  • TAKASUGI Nobuya, Senior Advisor, KIM&CHANG; Former Chairman, Fuji Xerox Korea Co., Ltd.
  • SHIN Kak-Soo, Former Ambassador to Japan

Session III: Forging New Relationships between Korea and Japan (PART 2)

Dinner hosted by YUN Byung-se, Minister of Foreign Affairs

  • Proposal for Improving Relations

Saturday, August 29

Session VI: Korea-Japan Junior Forum: Role of the Next Generation in the Future of Japan-Korea Relations

Chair
  • KOHARI Susumu, University of Shizuoka
  • CHANG Jekuk, President, Dongseo University

Participants

Japanese Participants

[Chairman]
MOGI Yuzaburo Honorary CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Kikkoman Corporation
[Participants]
BESSHO Koro Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Korea
FUKAGAWA Yukiko Professor, Waseda University
HAKODA Tetsuya Editorial Writer, Asahi Shimbun
HARUKI Ikumi Associate Professor, Toyo Eiwa University
HIRAIWA Shunji Professor, Kwansei Gakuin University
IDEISHI Tadashi Executive Commentator, NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation)
IIZUKA Keiko Editor, International News Department, Yomiuri Shimbun
KOHARI Susumu Professor, University of Shizuoka
KOKUBUN Ryosei President, National Defense Academy of Japan
KORENAGA Kazuo Senior Executive Director, Japan-Korea Economic Association
KURODA Katsuhiro Associate Editorial Writer in Seoul, Sankei Shimbun
MAEHARA Seiji Member, House of Representatives (DPJ)
NISHIKAWA Megumi Invited Senior Editorial Writer, Mainichi Shimbun
OGURA Kizo Professor, Kyoto University
OKAWARA Akio President, Japan Center for International Exchange
OKONOGI Masao Professor Emeritus, Keio University
OKUBO Kazutaka Senior Partner, Ernst & Young ShinNihon LLC
SAITO Ken Member, House of Representatives (LDP)
SOEYA Yoshihide Professor, Keio University
SUNOHARA Tsuyoshi Senior Staff Writer, Nikkei Newspaper; Secretary General for US-Japan Project (Mt. Fuji dialogue), Japan Center for Economic Research
TAKASUGI Nobuya Senior Advisor, Kim & Chang; Former Chairman, Fuji Xerox Korea, Co. Ltd.
TANAKA Hitoshi Chairman, Institute for International Strategy, Japan Research Institute, Ltd.; former Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs
UEDA Isamu Member, House of Representatives (New Komeito)
WAKAMIYA Yoshibumi Senior Fellow, JCIE; former Editor-in-Chief, Asahi Shimbun
 

Korean Participants

[Chairman]
YU Myung Hwan

Chairman, Sejong University; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade

[Participants]
AHN Se Young Chairperson, National Research Council for Economics, Humanities and Social Sciences
CHANG Jekuk President, Dongseo University
CHOI Hee Sik Professor, School of International Area Studies, Kookmin University
CHUNG Ku Chong Chairman, Korea-Japan Cultural Exchange Council
GONG Ro Myung Chairman, East Asia Foundation; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs
HONG Ji Yeun Lawyer, Kim & Chang
HWANG Youngsik Chief Editorial Writer, Hankkokilbo
JIN Chang-Soo President, The Sejong Institute
KIM Boo Kyum  Former Member of the National Assembly (New Politics Alliance for Democracy) 
KIM Joon  President, Kyungbang Ltd. 
KIM Se Yeon Member of the National Assembly (Saenuri Party)
MOON Chung-in Professor, Department of Political Science, Yonsei University
NA Kyung-Won Member of the National Assembly (Saenuri Party) 
OH Tai Kyu Chief Editorial Writer, Hankyoreh
PARK Cheol Hee Professor, Seoul National University; Director, Institute for Japanese Studies, SNU
PARK Joon-woo Chairman, Sejong Institute; Former Senior Secretary to the President for Political Affairs
SHIM Kyu Sun Associate Executive Director, Donga Ilbo
SHIM Yoon-joe Member of the National Assembly (Saenuri Party)
SHIN Kak-Soo Director, Center for International Law, Korea National Diplomatic Academy; Former Ambassador to Japan
SONU Jong International News Editor, Chosun Ilbo
SUH Seung Won Director, Global Institute for Japanese Studies, Korea University
YU Hyun-seok President, Korea Foundation
YUN Dukmin Chancellor, Korea National Diplomatic Academy
YUN Suk-Mynn Vice-chairman, SBS Media Holdings Ltd. 

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