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Presidential Speeches

Presidential Speeches

Greetings from President Lee Myung-bak to the 44th Joint Meeting of the Korea-Japan/Japan-Korea Cooperation Council

The Honorable Chairmen Nam Duck-woo of the Korea-Japan Cooperation Council and Yasuhiro Nakasone of the Japan-Korea Cooperation Council and Council members from both countries,


I wholeheartedly congratulate you on the opening of the 44th Joint Meeting of the Korea-Japan/Japan-Korea Cooperation Council in Seoul and the 40th anniversary of the Council. I extend my heartfelt welcome to the members of the Japanese delegation on your visit to Korea.


Korea and Japan have steadily developed friendship and cooperative relations since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1962. It is, however, true as well that the two countries have occasionally hit bumpy roads along the way.


Established in 1969 as the first non-governmental diplomatic channel between Korea and Japan, the Korea-Japan/Japan-Korea Cooperation Council has made great contributions to the progress of friendly ties between the two countries by deepening bilateral understanding through invitations of next-generation leaders.


In addition, the council has striven to come up with smooth solutions whenever bilateral relations turned difficult in the past.


I am deeply grateful to the Council for its ongoing efforts to promote bilateral relations as well as friendship and cooperation between Korea and Japan over the past 30 years.


The two distinguished Chairmen, Nam Duck-woo and Yasuhiro Nakasone, have demonstrated great passion in leading each council based on their lifetime experiences and concern for Korea-Japan ties.


Chairman Nakasone, in particular, was the first Japanese Prime Minister to visit Korea during his term in office. Since then, he has endeavored to boost bilateral relations with a variety of assistance and support.


I sincerely congratulate him on his 90th birthday this year and hope that he will continue to engage in energetic and vibrant activities in the future.


Distinguished members of the Council,


Currently, the international community is witnessing a rapid increase in the number of regional and global issues in various fields, which are difficult for any one country to deal with single-handedly.


Korea and Japan are neighbors that share the values of democracy and a market economy. Accordingly, there exists an increasing necessity for the two countries to join hands and cooperate.


Collaboration in dealing with the current financial crisis spreading rapidly across the globe is urgently needed and is crucial.


On the sidelines of the ASEM Summit in Beijing in October this year, I sat together with Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, and we reached an agreement to work together in responding to the current global financial situation.
 
In addition, the Prime Minister and I discussed countermeasures against the financial crisis together with leaders of other major nations at the G-20 financial summit in Washington D.C. in November.


In the first Korea-China-Japan summit to be held in Fukuoka, Japan in the middle of this month, I project that there will be an in-depth discussion on major pending issues, particularly on financial matters.


At a time when bilateral cooperation is more important than at any other time, it is truly meaningful for members from the Council to sit together to have multifaceted discussions regarding the changes in the situation in Northeast Asia and Korea-Japan collaboration.


I hope productive future directions will be suggested through serious discussions.


Once again, I would like to congratulate you on the Joint Meeting and the 40th anniversary of the Council. I wish Chairmen Nakasone and Nam good health and the Council continued success.


Thank you.

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