Concept

Japan–South Korea Joint Declaration of 1998

Summary
The New Japan–Republic of Korea Partnership towards the Twenty-first Century (Japanese: 日韓共同宣言 – 21世紀に向けた新たな日韓パートナーシップ, Korean: 한일공동선언 - 21세기를 향한 새로운 한일파트너쉽) was a declaration made on October 8, 1998, between Japanese Prime Minister Keizō Obuchi and South Korean President Kim Dae-jung to reconfirm friendly relations between Japan and South Korea, as well as declare that both countries will discuss the future of Japan-South Korea relations in order to build a new Japan–South Korea partnership. This declaration is also called the Japan–South Korea Joint Declaration of 1998. In February 1998, when Kim Dae-jung became the president of South Korea, Japan-South Korea relations were at its worst. With both countries unable to come to an agreement about issues such as the Dokdo/Takeshima, comfort women, and fishing, relations between the two countries continued to worsen. Kim Dae-jung, unlike the former president Kim Young-Sam, who was very critical about the Japanese government, actively sought to have talks with Japan and set about preparing the Japan–South Korea Joint Declaration of 1998 along with Japan. An existing treaty between South Korea and Japan, the Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea, was signed on June 22, 1965, and provided basic diplomatic relations for the two states. In this treaty, signed by Japanese PM Eisaku Satō and the South Korean dictator Park Chung-hee, Japan and South Korea agreed upon settling problems with property during war-time, individual claims for compensation, and economic cooperation. Japan provided South Korea with $800 million, which would settle any issues about Imperial-era property and compensation for individuals. On July 6, 1992, Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Kato made an apology towards South Korea and to the wartime comfort women. Kato touched upon the remorse that Japan feels, along with hopes to build “future-oriented” relations with South Korea. The "Murayama Statement", also called "On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the war's end", was a statement released on August 16, 1995, by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama.
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