SEOUL, May 17 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Japan agreed Wednesday to enhance bilateral cooperation in new industry fields and promote exchanges for a stronger economic and business partnership by maximizing a recent thaw in their diplomatic relations, an association concerned with bilateral economic ties said.
The agreement was made after around 240 senior officials of the two nations' governments, major companies and experts held a two-day meeting from Tuesday in Seoul, hosted by the Korea-Japan Economic Association (KJE), the Japan-Korea Economic Association and several other related agencies.
The annual event was held face-to-face for the first time in four years.
Wrapping up the meeting, the participants adopted a joint statement that calls for the expansion of economic cooperation through various joint projects on the digital transition, green growth and other new industries, and making inroads into new global markets together.
They agreed to promote personnel and cultural exchanges, as well as exchanges among their regional bodies to advance the bilateral economic relationship, the statement read.
The two sides also vowed to work more closely regarding upcoming world expos, as 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.
"South Korea secures manufacturing technologies and has a capacity for conducting major projects, and Japan has know-how in software and expertise in the financial sector. Cooperation between the two is expected to create good results," said KJE chief Kim Yoon, who also leads Samyang Holdings Corp.
The meeting took place at a time when Seoul and Tokyo have been working to restore and strengthen their economic and industry relations, which had been frayed by historic and diplomatic rows stemming from Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.
In March, the Seoul government offered to compensate victims of colonial Japan's forced labor policy without contributions from the accused Japanese companies, a decision hailed by Tokyo that led to the first summit between President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
The two leaders met again in Seoul last week, where they vowed to redouble efforts to improve their economic and security ties.
Last month, 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.
The meeting was also attended by CJ Group Chairman Sohn Kyung-Shik; Akitaka Saiki, an independent director of Japan's Mitsubishi Corp.; and Aso Cement Chairman Yutaka Aso, according to the organizers.
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