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."
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.
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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