Top biz leaders of S. Korea, Japan to meet in Tokyo after forced labor proposal

Chiefs of top South Korean conglomerates, including Samsung, SK and Hyundai, will meet with key Japanese business leaders in Tokyo this week amid a thaw in bilateral relations following Seoul's proposal for resolving the wartime forced labor issue, a Korean business lobby said Wednesday.

The Korea-Japan Business Roundtable will take place Friday, co-hosted by the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) and the Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren -- two major business lobbies -- the FKI said in a release.

Samsung Electronics Executive Chairman Lee Jae-yong, SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Euisun Chung and LG Group Chairman Koo Kwang-mo will be among the 12 South Korean businesspeople attending the meeting, along with acting FKI chief, Kim Byong-joon, according to the FKI.

Eleven others from the Japanese side, including Keidanren chief Masakazu Tokura, are expected to be present at the meeting.

"The meeting is meaningful that key Korean and Japanese business leaders get together to discuss economic cooperation and common global issues at a time when the mood is ripe for a recovery in bilateral ties," the FKI said.

"We will work to bolster economic cooperation with Japan, as well as mutual investment and people-to-people exchanges," it said.

The business roundtable will be held on the second day of President Yoon Suk Yeol's two-day visit to Japan.

Yoon is set to hold a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday on ways to normalize the bilateral relationship.

Last week, Seoul announced it will compensate Korean forced labor victims through a public foundation funded by donations from South Korean businesses, instead of the accused Japanese companies, a decision seen as a show of Yoon's commitment to improving bilateral relations badly frayed over wartime history issues.

The South Korean government proposed creating a "future youth fund" as part of the resolution measures, to sponsor scholarships and other exchanges among the younger generations, and offered the FKI and Keidanren to lead such efforts to establish the fund.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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