문재인 대통령(오른쪽)이 지난 9월 25일(현지시간) 아베 신조(安倍晋三) 일본 총리와 미국 뉴욕 파커뉴욕호텔에서 정상회담에 앞서 악수하고 있다. 청와대

President Moon Jae-in (right) and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sept. 25 shake hands ahead of bilateral talks held at the Parker New York Hotel in New York. (Cheong Wa Dae)

By Xu Aiying and Lee Hana

“We must face the truth to build a stable, forward-thinking relationship between Korea and Japan. We should set right our principles of justice by placing ourselves in each other’s shoes and become true friends.”

President Moon Jae-in on Nov. 18 said this in a congratulatory message sent to the 54th Joint General Meeting of the Korea-Japan and Japan-Korea Cooperation Committees in Seoul.

“After ending years of conflict, the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia as a whole are writing a new chapter of history marked by peace and harmony. Japan playing a constructive role in this regard is crucial,” he said.

이낙연 국무총리(오른쪽)가 19일 서울 종로구 정부서울청사에서 와타나베 히데오(渡辺秀央) 일한협력위원회 회장대행과 만나 악수하고 있다. 국무총리실

Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon (right) on Nov. 19 shakes hands with Hideo Watanabe, acting head of a Japanese parliamentary committee on cooperation with Korea, at the Central Government Complex in Seoul. (Prime Minister’s Secretariat)

On Nov. 19, Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon held a meeting with Hideo Watanabe, acting head of a Japanese parliamentary committee on bilateral cooperation with Korea, at the Central Government Complex in Seoul on boosting bilateral relations.

Citing the year of the Kim-Obuchi Declaration (1998) as a time when Korean-Japanese relations reached new heights, Lee said, “While a number of issues still need to be addressed, both countries should take cues from the wisdom shown by past leaders.”

Founded in 1969, or four years after Seoul and Tokyo formalized ties in 1965, the Joint General Meeting of the Korea-Japan and Japan-Korea Cooperation Committees is a forum for public discussion between the two sides.

xuaiy@korea.kr