Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met face to face on Monday for the first time in over 12 years, agreeing to mend ties that have been strained by decades of animosity.
The two leaders met in the South Korean city of Busan, where they discussed a range of issues, including trade, security and the two countries’ shared history.
Abe said that he was determined to “open a new era” of cooperation between Japan and South Korea, and that the two countries had “overcome the past and moved forward.”
Moon echoed Abe’s sentiment, saying that the countries must “overcome the past to look forward to the future.”
The two leaders also discussed the issue of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s, and agreed to work together to resolve the issue.
The meeting came after months of negotiations between the two countries, as they sought to end a decades-long diplomatic freeze.
It was the first meeting between the two countries’ leaders since 2007, when then-Prime Minister Abe met with then-South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun.