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South Korea’s FKI Chairman Foresees Robust Trilateral Ties with U.S. and Japan Beyond Elections

Jin Roy Ryu Stresses Continuity in U.S.-Japan-South Korea Relations, Advocates Economic and Youth Exchanges
South Korea
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Jin Roy Ryu, chairman of the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), has expressed optimism about the future of trilateral cooperation between South Korea, the U.S., and Japan. His confidence in the resilience of these ties remains steadfast, irrespective of the outcome of the upcoming U.S. presidential election. Ryu’s observations come amidst speculations on the impact of potential political shifts in the U.S.

During an interview with Nikkei in Tokyo, where he attended a meeting with Japan’s largest business lobby, Keidanren, Ryu highlighted the significance of the trilateral alliance. He believes that regardless of who occupies the White House, be it former President Donald Trump or current President Joe Biden, the solidarity among these three nations will endure due to the mutual benefits it brings.

Ryu pointed out the advantages each administration offers to international businesses. He noted the Democratic Party’s political support for American companies, contrasting it with Trump’s more inclusive approach to foreign investments in the U.S.

Regarding the upcoming U.S. presidential election, Ryu perceives Trump as having an edge in the Electoral College, despite Biden possibly winning the popular vote. His insights are informed by his educational background in both Japan and the U.S., as well as his extensive connections in American political circles.

Ryu emphasized the need for unity not just in political realms but also economically, through business collaborations among South Korea, the U.S., and Japan. He revealed plans for regular meetings among business leaders from these countries, with the inaugural session expected to take place in South Korea later this year.

In his capacity as chairman of Poongsan, a leading copper smelter and defense equipment manufacturer, and his involvement in educational initiatives, Ryu is keen on fostering cooperation in various sectors, including finance, IT, startups, and manufacturing. He also stressed the importance of youth exchanges and mutual understanding, citing his experience with a student exchange program involving the three countries.

The interview also touched upon the sensitive issue of Korean wartime laborers and the South Korean government’s efforts to address it through compensation. Ryu acknowledged the complexity of this matter, indicating the FKI’s current stance of restraint, given the numerous challenges and potential objections to proposed solutions.

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