Japan, South Korea to Hold First Finance Talks in 7 Years to Restore Currency Swap Deal

Japan and South Korea will meet for the first time in seven years on Thursday to discuss restoring a currency swap agreement which has already expired.

According to a Reuters report citing three government sources with knowledge of the agenda, Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki and South Korean Finance Minister Choo Kyungho are anticipated to agree on the need for reviving a stalled bilateral currency swap agreement.

This conference is an attempt to repair strained relations between the two countries in light of the common geostrategic threats posed by a more aggressive China and an unpredictable North Korea.

Analysts say restoring the swap pact would be a sign of progress in relations between the two countries after they worsened in 2015 due to issues relating to Japan’s wartime occupation of the Korean Peninsula. 

The swap arrangement was initiated in 2001 to help during a financial crisis. which peaked at $70 billion in 2011 before decreasing in 2012 due to diplomatic tensions.

The ministers will also discuss the current condition of the international economy, the importance of investing in developing nations’ infrastructure, and the potential roles of both countries in multilateral financial cooperation.