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S. Korean, Japanese customs agencies hold first bilateral meeting in 7 years

By Yonhap

Published : Sept. 8, 2023 - 09:54

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Commissioner Ko Kwang-hyo (left) poses for a photo with his Japanese counterpart during a meeting in Seoul on Thursdsay. (Yonhap) Commissioner Ko Kwang-hyo (left) poses for a photo with his Japanese counterpart during a meeting in Seoul on Thursdsay. (Yonhap)

South Korea's customs agency said Friday it has held the first bilateral meeting with its Japanese counterpart in seven years amid signs of improving economic relations.

Commissioner Ko Kwang-hyo met his Japanese counterpart in Seoul on Thursday to discuss a wide array of issues, which marked the first of its kind since 2016, according to the Korea Customs Service.

During the meeting, the two countries exchanged opinions on addressing global protectionism, as well as the escalating concerns surrounding trade-related crimes, such as drug trafficking.

"The two customs agencies shared their awareness of the seriousness of cross-border crimes, including drugs, as well as trade that violates international rules and sanctions," the South Korean authority said.

The two countries agreed to continue exchanging related information and roll out joint crackdown measures, it added.

In June, South Korea and Japan vowed to make full-fledged efforts to normalize ties, including the resumption of a $10 billion currency swap deal.

In 2019, the bilateral relationship soured as Japan imposed export curbs on South Korea in retaliation for the 2018 South Korean Supreme Court rulings ordering Japanese firms to compensate South Korean victims of forced labor during Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

Relations between South Korea and Japan began to thaw this year after South Korea offered to resolve the forced labor issue by compensating victims on its own without asking for contributions from Japan.

The customs agency, meanwhile, said it plans to hold talks with Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, and Mongolia by the end of this year to further revitalize exports. (Yonhap)