The tourism ministers of South Korea, China and Japan have vowed to redouble their efforts to bring peace, stability and prosperity in Northeast Asia through tourism exchanges and cooperation.
Adopting a joint declaration, the three tourism ministers - South Korea's South Korea's Park Yang-woo, China's Luo Shugang and Japan's Keiichi Ishii - pledged to work together to promote local tourism and lead the future of the tourism industry.
Also earlier in the day, the culture ministers of the three nations held a separate meeting and signed the 'Incheon Declaration' - which dedicates more focus on the future generations and emphasizes the role of culture in the fourth industrial revolution.
Following the signing ceremony, South Korea's Suncheon, China's Yangzhou, Japan's Kitakyushu have been named as the 2020 East Asian culture cities - which will be working with one another to boost cultural exchanges.
But in between the two ministerial-level meetings, a local civic group held a protest in front of the meeting venue.
The protesters called for a boycott of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics over concerns of radioactive contamination.
They delivered its petition to a Japanese official and called upon Tokyo to halt its (quote)"economic retaliation measures" against South Korea.
But according to a South Korean ministry official, the ministers of Seoul and Tokyo implicitly agreed to put aside matters like the ongoing trade disputes, wartime forced labor, comfort women issue and the end of a military intelligence-sharing pact between the two nations.
"The worsening relationship between Seoul and Tokyo was not brought up during the ministerial-level talks here at the Songdo Conventia.
Instead, they focued on ways to promote cultural exchanges and tourism cooperation between South Korea, China and Japan. Kan Hyeong-woo, Arirang News. Songdo."