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Samsung heir in Tokyo again at invitation of Japan’s biz community

Amid ongoing trade disputes between South Korea and Japan, Samsung Electronics’ de facto leader, Lee Jae-yong, visited Tokyo again at the invitation of the neighboring country’s business community, officials said Friday.

The vice chairman of the Korean tech giant visited Tokyo to take part in the opening ceremony of the Rugby World Cup, one of the world’s three largest sports events along with the Summer Olympics and the FIFA World Cup.

This is the first Rugby World Cup to be held in Asia.

Fujio Mitarai, chairman of Canon, is the head of the organizing committee for the event. He is also the honorary chairman of the Japan Business Federation.

Some major Japanese electronics companies, such as Toshiba and NEC, own rugby teams. 

Lee Jae-yong (Yonhap)
Lee Jae-yong (Yonhap)

“Although there are persisting tensions over the Japan-imposed export curbs, the Japanese business community is seeking to maintain their relations with Samsung as a major partner,” said an industry official.

Lee is expected to meet with the Japanese business tycoons at the sports event to discuss business partnerships and other economic matters. 

Korea removed Japan from its export control whitelist Wednesday, a month after Tokyo did the same in apparent retaliation for a Supreme Court ruling here that held Japanese companies responsible for benefiting from Korean forced labor during World War II.

By Song Su-hyun (