SEOUL, May 16 (Yonhap) -- More than 240 senior officials of major South Korean and Japanese companies and governments gathered in Seoul on Tuesday to explore ways to strengthen cooperation on new industry fields and enhance economic exchanges amid a recent thaw in the bilateral relationship, the industry ministry said.
The two-day meeting that began Tuesday is being hosted by the Korea-Japan Economic Association (KJE), the Japan-Korea Economic Association and several other agencies on their economic ties, and the annual event is being held face-to-face for the first time in four years, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
The participants will discuss how to achieve tangible economic results from the two nations' resumption of "shuttle diplomacy," or regular visits to each other's nation by their leaders, meant to restore their relations long marred by historic and diplomatic rows stemming from Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.
Last week, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visited Seoul for talks with President Yoon Suk Yeol following Yoon's trip to Japan in March, where the two leaders vowed to redouble efforts to improve bilateral economic and security ties.
Also on the table will be ways to boost exchanges in terms of the economy, personnel affairs and culture, and to work closely regarding the upcoming world expos, the ministry said.
South Korea seeks to host the 2030 World Expo in the southeastern city of Busan, and Japan has been selected to host the 2025 World Expo in Osaka.
In a congratulatory speech, South Korea's Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun vowed to actively support and push for joint work on advanced industry fields, trade, exchanges among younger generations and the advance into new global markets.
The participants include Kim Yoon, who leads Samyang Holdings Corp. and heads the KJE; CJ Group Chairman Sohn Kyung-Shik; Akitaka Saiki, an independent director of Japan's Mitsubishi Corp.; and Aso Cement Chairman Yutaka Aso, the ministry said.
In March, the Seoul government offered to compensate victims of the colonial Japan's forced labor without the contributions from accused Japanese companies, a decision hailed by Tokyo that led to the first summit.
The two sides agreed to normalize their economic ties, and Japan lifted export restrictions on key industry materials against South Korea.
The Seoul government put Japan back on its white list of trusted trade partners, and Japan is taking steps to return Seoul to its fast-track trade partner list.
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