S. Korean President to have dinner with Japan's Prime Minister at Omurice restaurant during summit

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : March 15, 2023, 16:48 Updated : December 13, 2023, 03:41

[Yonhap News Photo]

SEOUL -- President Yoon Suk-yeol will visit Japan on March 16 for two days to meet Japan's Prime Minister Kishida Fumio for a summit meeting. The two leaders will engage in discussions to find solutions to improve bilateral relations and have dinner at an Omurice restaurant in Ginza, Tokyo's shopping district filled with department stores and restaurants. It would be the first visit by a South Korean president to Japan in about four years since ex-President Moon Jae-in attended the 2019 G20 summit held in Osaka.
This year's summit is taking place after the South Korean government's announcement to pay compensations and delayed interests to forced Korean labor victims and their families through a state-affiliated foundation. South Korean civic movement groups have demanded a sincere apology from the Japanese government for the victims during Japan's colonial rule while Tokyo has insisted colonial-era issues were settled in a 1965 agreement that restored diplomatic ties with the payment of $500 million.
In 2018, South Korea's highest court ordered Japan's Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. to pay 100 million won ($76,681) each to four Korean victims. South Korean supreme court justices ruled that they cannot accept the premise that forced labor during the colonial era was legitimate. Japan regulated exports of key semiconductor materials to South Korea after the Supreme Court's ruling and excluded South Korea from a list of trusted trading partners. The South Korean government overturned the Supreme Court's ruling on March 6 by assigning the Foundation for Victims of Forced Mobilization by Imperial Japan (FOMO), operated by the interior ministry, to become the third-party compensator.
During the two-day summit, President Yoon will have dinner with the Japanese prime minister at Rengatei, a restaurant in Ginza known for Omurice menus. Omurice is a Japanese-style omelet and rice dish made of fried rice topped with a thick layer of scrambled eggs. The restaurant with 128 years of history was selected as the South Korean leader made the request for the omelet rice. On the second day, Yoon will meet Japan's influential figures where heads of South Korean conglomerates including Hyundai auto group and SK Group will also participate.   
The South Korean president will also interact with Japanese students at Keio University, the oldest private university with some 34,300 students. Yoon's wife Kim Keon-hee is scheduled to meet Japanese first lady Kishida Yuko. 
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