New Japanese Ambassador to Seoul Koichi Aiboshi is seen in this Kyodo News Agency file photo from Sturday. (Kyodo News Agency)
New Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Koichi Aiboshi has stressed the importance of trilateral cooperation between the two countries and the United States for regional stability, according to its embassy on Wednesday.
"Japan and South Korea are mutually important neighbors, whose people share a deep interest in each other's politics, economy, society and culture," Aiboshi said in his first message posted on the embassy's website since his arrival in Seoul on Friday.
"To keep the region stable, cooperation between Japan and Korea, and among Japan, South Korea and the United States, is essential," he said.
His remarks came as Seoul has been seeking to mend ties with Tokyo and firm up relations with Washington under the administration of new US President Joe Biden to create fresh opportunities to jumpstart the stalled peace process with North Korea.
Relations between Seoul and Tokyo remain badly frayed over long-running issues stemming from wartime forced labor and Tokyo's export curbs.
Aiboshi, who previously served as ambassador to Israel, said he is well aware of the grim situations the two countries are facing in terms of their bilateral relations and that he feels the "heavy weight of responsibility" as the top envoy.
Hoping for the COVID-19 situation to improve, he also vowed to carry out his duties to foster an environment that would enable more bilateral exchanges to take place in various fields and at people-to-people levels. (Yonhap)