By Kim Seung-yeon
SEOUL, June 9 (Yonhap) -- Business chambers of South Korea and Japan agreed Friday to work together to realize Seoul's bid to host the 2030 World Expo and a successful opening of the same event in Osaka in 2025.
The agreement was reached between the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) in a joint statement adopted during their chairs' meeting in Busan, South Korea's southeastern port city bidding for the expo, the KCCI said.
Friday's meeting marked the first such gathering between the two business chambers in six years. It had been suspended since 2018 amid deteriorating bilateral relations over a dispute stemming from Japan's 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.
Bilateral ties have warmed dramatically after South Korea proposed in March compensating the Korean victims of Japan's wartime forced labor without contributions from accused Japanese companies.
"The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry will actively participate in the Osaka-Kansai Expo in 2025, and the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry will actively cooperate to attract the Busan World Expo in 2030," the statement read.
South Korea is competing with Italy, Ukraine and Saudi Arabia to host the World Expo in 2030, with the winner to be announced in November.
In the joint statement, the KCCI and JCCI agreed to promote cooperation in economic security, including rebuilding the supply chains, achieving carbon neutrality, and cooperating on artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, among others.
They agreed to bolster private exchanges in tourism, culture and education in line with the post-COVID-19 recovery and border reopening.
Seoul's decision on the compensation led to the first summit between the two countries' leaders in more than a decade and a mutual promise to resume exchanges in diplomacy, business and other areas.
Seizing on the diplomatic shift, business circles are stepping up to reinvigorate various exchanges and partnerships at the industry level.
KCCI Chair Chey Tae-won and JCCI Chair Ken Kobayashi attended Friday's meeting, accompanied by the heads of the regional business chambers of the two countries.
The KCCI and JCCI agreed to host the next chairs' meeting in Osaka in 2024.
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