According to NHK reports, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (photo) could adjust his schedule for attending the UN climate change conference COP 26 in Glasgow next Monday and Tuesday (local time). There is growing attention as to whether he will meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who will also be attending the conference.
According to the NHK, the Japanese Prime Minister is considering attending the conference in person after the House of Representatives elections on Sunday as virtual participation would be difficult. He also believes that attending the conference would be a more effective message to the international community of Japan’s readiness to address the challenges of climate change. However, the Yomiuri Shimbun reported that there is a possibility that the visit to Glasgow could be canceled depending on the election result.
If Prime Minister Kishida is attending the conference, it will be his first overseas visit since taking office on October 4th. President Moon will visit Europe on a nine-day trip from October 28 to November 5 and attend COP26.
The two heads of state held a telephone conversation for the first time on October 15, but were unable to narrow down differences in disputes between the two countries such as compensation for forced labor and sex slavery during the Japanese colonial rule. President Moon said he looked forward to a face-to-face meeting to openly discuss the development of further relations between the two countries. After the conversation, Prime Minister Kishida met with the press and said that communication between the two countries must continue regardless of disputes over the past. However, he commented that “nothing is clear” about another meeting with President Moon.