SEOUL, May 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is willing to cooperate with Japan in responding to the coronavirus pandemic, the foreign ministry said Friday, after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed hope to work with Seoul to cope with the outbreak.
Abe told a parliamentary session of the upper house on Wednesday that "exchanging information and experience would be of much help to Japan's responses," when asked by a lawmaker of Tokyo's ties with Seoul in terms of anti-virus cooperation
He also called Korea "a neighbor" and "an important country" for Japan.
Seoul's foreign ministry said Friday that the government was aware of Abe's remarks.
"We are aware of Prime Minister Abe's remarks. Japan is a close-by neighbor of ours and the government hopes to cooperate with Japan in necessary areas, including responses to COVID-19," the ministry said.
The ministry added that South Korea will actively consider exporting virus-related quarantine products as long as current domestic circumstances allow room for it.
Early this week, Seoul denied a local news report that South Korea expressed willingness through an unofficial channel to provide Japan with face masks to help the country cope with the virus outbreak and Tokyo had not responded to the offer yet.
On Friday, Seoul's ministry repeated its position that it has not received an official request from Tokyo about possible quarantine assistance.
S. Korea, Japan ties again at major juncture in leadership transition period
Sejong closer to becoming virtual administrative capital
(News Focus) City development controversy widens amid revelation of astronomical severance pay for opposition lawmaker's son
On U.S. trip, Moon highlights S. Korea's global role, vaccine hub vision
Moon seeks breakthrough in peace process with concrete offer of war-ending declaration