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Samsung heir hints at visiting Japan soon

Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong arrives at the Seoul Gimpo Business Aviation Center on Friday. (Yonhap)
Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong arrives at the Seoul Gimpo Business Aviation Center on Friday. (Yonhap)
Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong will likely soon visit Japan to meet with major business partners, according to the conglomerate heir on Friday.

Lee had just returned to Seoul after meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in Hanoi on Tuesday and visiting Samsung’s manufacturing facilities in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday.

He didn’t comment on reporters’ questions at Gimpo Airport upon arrival on his response to the Vietnamese prime minister’s request for Samsung to invest in Vietnam’s semiconductors plant.

But to a question on his possible trip to Japan within this year, Lee said, “I do need to meet with clients in Japan.” He didn’t offer a time frame.

The last time Lee went to Tokyo was July 2019 to seek support from Samsung’s Japanese business partners in procurement of key chipmaking materials for which imports were restricted by the Japanese government. Since then, Japan elected new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in September this year.

Since the pandemic, Lee has resumed his global trips to check on Samsung’s overseas business and manufacturing facilities, as countries have started to provide fast-track entries without mandatory two-week quarantine periods for businesspeople.

The Samsung heir visited the headquarters of ASML, the largest semiconductor equipment builder based in the Netherlands, and the head office of the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland earlier this month.

By Song Su-hyun (song@heraldcorp.com)
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