Kennedy foundation to honor Yoon, Kishida for strengthening bilateral ties

A U.S. foundation said Tuesday it will honor South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida for their efforts to improve relations despite historical issues.

The International Profile in Courage Award will be given to the two "for working to improve relations between their countries despite domestic opposition stemming from historical issues," the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation said in a statement.

Yoon said on his social media account that he was "greatly honored" to be nominated for the award with Kishida.

He also noted that closer cooperation among South Korea, the United States and Japan will "contribute to promoting freedom, peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and beyond."

The ceremony will be held on Oct. 29 in Boston at the foundation's library. The presidential office said it has not yet decided who will attend the event on behalf of Yoon.

The award is granted to politicians who have shown courageous leadership. Other major recipients include Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and former U.S. President Barack Obama.

In 2019, the bilateral relationship soured as Japan imposed export curbs on South Korea in retaliation for the 2018 South Korean Supreme Court rulings ordering Japanese firms to compensate South Korean victims of forced labor during Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

Relations between South Korea and Japan began to thaw this year after South Korea offered to resolve the forced labor issue by compensating victims on its own without asking for contributions from Japan.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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