ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
International relations

Seoul names University of Tokyo PhD Kang as Japan ambassador

South Korea tasks well-connected ex-lawmaker with improving relations

South Korean President Moon Jae-in wants to improve ties with Japan, a source from his office said.   © Reuters

SEOUL -- A former leader of the South Korea-Japan Parliamentarians' Union will be Seoul's next ambassador to Tokyo.

Kang Chang-il was chosen for the post "in hopes that his expertise, experience and longtime connections would lead to an improvement in cooling bilateral ties," a spokesperson for the South Korean presidential office said Monday.

The Asian neighbors have fallen out during the past two years over legal moves in South Korea to hold Japanese companies responsible for wartime labor, as well as over Tokyo's export controls on semiconductor industry supplies.

Kang Chang-il will be South Korea's new ambassador to Japan. (Photo courtesy of South Korea's presidential office)

"The choice of Kang reflects [South Korean] President Moon Jae-in's desire to improve relations with Japan," said a presidential Blue House source.

The 68-year-old served as a lawmaker with the ruling Democratic Party of Korea for four terms until May 2020.

Kang traveled to Japan many times after becoming the head of the bilateral parliamentarians union in 2017, where he met with such prominent political figures as then-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Kang has a doctorate from the University of Tokyo, where he studied Asian history.

Kang replaces Nam Gwan-pyo as ambassador to Japan.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends January 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more