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First ladies of South Korea, Japan make Japanese sweets

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : March 17, 2023 - 10:56

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First lady Kim Keon Hee makes Japanese sweets with Japanese first lady Yuko Kishida at the prime minister’s residence on Thursday. (Yonhap) First lady Kim Keon Hee makes Japanese sweets with Japanese first lady Yuko Kishida at the prime minister’s residence on Thursday. (Yonhap)

First lady Kim Keon Hee made wagashi, Japanese sweets, with Japanese first lady Yuko Kishida as she visited the prime minister’s residence during President Yoon Suk Yeol's working trip to Tokyo. This was the first meeting between the two in four months since the G-20 summit held in November in Indonesia.

Kim learned how to make Japanese sweets under the guidance of a Japanese artisan and drank matcha tea, according to the Korean presidential office in a written statement. The two first ladies talked about a variety of topics, from cultural exchanges between the two countries to Muneyoshi Yanagi, an advocate of the Mingei folk craft movement.

As a gesture of reciprocity, Kim presented the Japanese first lady with traditional Korean snacks, including yugwa and gwapyeon. She expressed her hope that the people of both countries could engage in even closer exchanges. “As much as we shared our hearts today, I hope that that the people of both countries will be able to exchange more closely," she was quoted as saying.