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(2nd LD) Biz leaders from S. Korea, Japan vow closer cooperation

All News 14:47 October 10, 2016

(ATTN: ADDS more details in last 2 paras)

SEOUL, Oct. 10 (Yonhap) -- Business leaders from South Korea and Japan vowed Monday to boost bilateral economic cooperation in overseas markets and make concerted efforts to reduce the damage from natural disasters such as quakes.

The agreement came as the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), South Korea's biggest lobby group, and its Japanese counterpart the Japanese Business Federation held a regular meeting earlier in the day to discuss a variety of issues, including bilateral cooperation.

A meeting of the South Korea-Japan Business Council is held in Seoul on Oct. 10, 2016, in this photo released by the Federation of Korean Industries. (Yonhap)

"The two countries' cooperation is increasingly important for the stability of the Northeast Asian region," Huh Chang-soo, chairman of the FKI, said in an opening speech. "The two countries are also required to make concerted efforts to tackle rising global protectionism."

The Japanese Business Federation sent a business delegation, including its chairman Sadayuki Sakakibara, to the gathering here.

The two sides said that they need to set up a system to support their inroads into other nations, although they have successfully cooperated in venturing into many industrial segments of overseas markets.

In particular, they shared the view that more efforts should be made to prevent the potential damage from and deal with the aftermath of natural disasters such as earthquakes.

In April, a magnitude 6.5 earthquake hit Japan's Kumamoto region, followed by a magnitude 7.0 tremor just 28 hours later. The temblors killed at least 42 people and injured some 1,500 others.

Last month, South Korea's southern city of Gyeongju, located some 371 km southeast of Seoul, was rocked by two quakes, one of which was magnitude 5.8, the strongest to hit the Korean Peninsula to date.

Japan's delegation also called for a high-level free trade deal between Seoul and Tokyo and cooperation for the completion of negotiations for the regional comprehensive economic partnership (RCEP).

RCEP negotiations first started in May 2013. Since then, the countries have held 14 rounds of official negotiations. Last year, the leaders of South Korea, Australia, China and 13 other countries set a goal to conclude the RCEP negotiations by the end of this year.


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