News analysis

As Japan and South Korea make amends, the challenge now is to make it last

South Korea's President Yoon Suk-yeol (left) sharing beers with Japan's PM Fumio Kishida at Rengatei, a restaurant sin Tokyo's Ginza district, on March 16, 2023. PHOTO: REUTERS
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TOKYO/SEOUL – Beaming with smiles, Japan’s and South Korea’s leaders clinked beer glasses and sat down for a hearty supper of omurice (omelette rice) on Thursday.

It wasn’t the only occasion in the watershed bilateral visit – the first by a South Korean President to Japan in 12 years – to radiate plenty of warmth. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida likened their meeting to cherry blossoms blooming in the spring after a frosty winter.

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