SEOUL, July 4 -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye and visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping shared concerns over Japan's reinterpretation of its pacifist constitution during their luncheon meeting, the South Korean presidential office said Friday.
Ju Chul-ki, senior foreign affairs and security advisor to Park, told a press briefing that Xi and Park held a special luncheon meeting where the two leaders shared worries about Japan' s continued history-revisionist attitude and its attempt to expand the self-defense right.
They sympathized with the need for Japan to pursue its defense and security policy in a way that further complies with its pacifist constitution, while shunning politics even the Japanese people do not support, Ju said.
The two leaders called attention to the reality where many countries around the world as well as more than half of the Japanese people opposed to the Japanese cabinet's reinterpretation of its post-war constitution to allow itself to exercise the right to collective self-defense.
The cabinet, headed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, announced a resolution to reinterpret its 67-year-old constitution on Tuesday, fueling concerns over Japan's return to its past militarism.
Regarding the Kono Statement, the two leaders shared regrets over Japan's recent review on its 1993 apology for the wartime sex slavery, saying the review was aimed at damaging and disparaging the statement.
The Kono Statement refers to an official apology made in 1993 by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono, who acknowledged that the imperialistic Japan was involved in the recruitment of more than 200,000 young women, mostly Koreans, and forced them to serve in military brothels.
On June 20, the Abe cabinet unveiled the results of its reexamination on the Kono Statement. It said the South Korean government intervened in the wording of the apology, indicating it was the consequence of closed-door political dealings.
Xi and Park also shared views that international coordination to resolve the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s nuclear issue can be broken if sanctions imposed on the DPRK for its nuclear program are mishandled.
The Japanese cabinet gave a green light Friday to ease sanctions on the DPRK after Pyongyang formed a team to reinvestigate into whereabouts of the Japanese it kidnapped in the 1970s and 1980s.
President Xi arrived here Thursday for a two-day state visit, his first trip to the Asian neighbor since he took office last year. Xi held a summit meeting with Park Thursday.