Vice FM holds talks with head of Japanese cultural foundation
SEOUL, Sept. 17 (Yonhap) -- Second Vice Foreign Minister Lee Tae-ho met with officials from a Japanese cultural foundation on Tuesday and discussed joint efforts to boost people-to-people exchanges, Seoul's foreign ministry said.
During the talks with the delegation of the Japan-Korea Cultural Foundation, led by its chairman, Fumio Sameshima, Lee called for the foundation's continued efforts in providing educational and academic programs for Koreans, such as youth exchange programs and fellowships.
Established under Japan's foreign ministry in 1983, the Tokyo-based foundation is dedicated to offering various cultural programs that connect the two countries on a civilian level.
Lee also asked for cooperation in enhancing job opportunities for young Koreans seeking to work in Japan, saying that such cases serve as a good model for cooperation that benefits people while also boosting bilateral relations.
In response, Sameshima expressed willingness to work to expand people-to-people exchanges so as to help promote mutual understanding, particularly between future generations, the ministry said.
In light of current bilateral tensions between South Korea and Japan over history and trade, Lee explained Seoul's stance calling for the ongoing dispute and cultural cooperation to be handled separately.
Lee added that continuing grassroots-level exchanges can provide momentum to efforts toward a diplomatic solution, according to the ministry.
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