Leading business executives from Japan and South Korea gathered in Tokyo on Friday and pledged stronger economic collaboration as they strive to pivot away from years of tension and animosity over the issue of reparations for forced wartime labor.

On Friday morning, the head of the business lobby in Japan known as Keidanren met with members of the Federation of Korean Industries, which is the Keidanren’s equivalent in South Korea. Also in attendance was South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.

Yoon is making history as the first South Korean president to visit Japan in over a decade and a half. Yoon and Fumio Kishida, the Prime Minister of Japan, made a joint vow on Thursday to put an end to years of hatred between their nations due to the painful history that they have in common.

The United States-led attempts to show a united front against China and North Korea have been undermined for a long time by the absence of coordination between the two nations.

This week, Seoul unveiled a proposal for its corporations to recompense former people who were compelled to work for them. This was the first sign that a breakthrough was on the horizon.

The two corporate lobby organizations have reached an agreement to establish foundations with the goal of fostering “future-oriented” bilateral cooperation.

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