Korean, Japanese 1st Ladies Focus on 'Soft Diplomacy'

  • By Yang Seung-sik

    March 17, 2023 10:39

    First lady Kim Keon-hee, who is visiting Japan with President Yoon Suk-yeol, met with Japanese first lady Yukio Kishida on Thursday. 
    The two women first socialized by making traditional Japanese sweets at the prime minister's residence in Tokyo.
    A government official said, "Ahead of this summit, the Japanese government took a close look at the tastes of the president and first lady and prepared events that symbolize the strengthening of bilateral friendship. They put in a lot of effort into 'soft diplomacy' between the two first ladies."  
    First lady Kim Keon-hee (left) and Japanese first lady Yuko Kishida make traditional Japanese sweets at the prime minister's residence in Tokyo on Thursday. /Yonhap
    The two first ladies also accompanied their husbands to a dinner of sukiyaki and shabu in a restaurant in Tokyo's Ginza district. 
    Presidential spokesman Lee Do-woon said, "According to Japanese practice it is rare for the first ladies to accompany the leaders, but Kishida made a special consideration for Yoon." 
    They then moved on to a restaurant nearby that has been serving omurice or fried-rice omelets since 1895 because Yoon loves the dish.  
    President Yoon Suk-yeol and first lady Kim Keon-hee dine with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his wife Yuko Kishida in a restaurant in Tokyo on Thursday. /Newsis
    On Friday, Kim visits celebrated Japanese architect Tadao Ando, whom she got to know at an architectural exhibition back in 2016. Early this year she sent him a letter vowing to contribute to improving relations between their countries.

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