President Moon Jae-in has spoken for the first time with Japan's new Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga.
They expressed their desire to solve impending issues and improve ties.
During their 20-minute phone conversation Thursday, Suga said he hopes to establish a forward-looking relationship with South Korea.
President Moon acknowledged their different stances on wartime forced labor, but said he wishes to find a solution that both parties can accept.
Suga praised President Moon's leadership in successfully responding to COVID-19.
This was the first time the leaders of the two countries have spoken since Moon met with former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last December.