South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol visited on Tuesday a memorial altar at the Japanese Embassy to pay his respects to the late former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

After offering a tribute at the altar set up in the embassy's public information and cultural center in Seoul, Yoon signed an official book sending his condolences to Abe's bereaved family and the Japanese nation.

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol visits a memorial altar for the late former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul on July 12, 2022. (Photo courtesy of South Korea's presidential office)(Kyodo)


Yoon also wrote that he hopes South Korea and Japan can work together going forward as "the closest neighbors," according to the presidential office.

He also spoke briefly with Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Koichi Aiboshi.

"(The government) wishes Yoon's condolence visit could be a chance to reaffirm that South Korea and Japan are close neighbors that share values and standards, and also a new starting point of South Korea-Japan ties," the presidential office said in its statement.

Since his inauguration in May, Yoon has shown strong willingness to improve the two countries' relationship, which has been badly frayed due to history-related issues largely stemming from the Japanese colonial era.

Yoon plans to send a South Korean delegation led by Prime Minister Han Duck Soo to an official memorial ceremony for Abe in Japan.