After arriving in Osaka from Tokyo on Friday afternoon, South Korean President Kim Dae Jung and his wife, Lee Hee Ho, met Korean residents of the Kansai region at an Osaka hotel.In front of more than 700 participants, Kim thanked Korean residents for the help they offered when the country was hard hit by the financial crisis, heavy rains and floods.Kim told the participants that he was treated in the best manner by the Emperor, the government and Japanese people during his visit to Tokyo, stressing that the visit, which was made in a new era for the two countries, was fruitful. “It was the first time that words of apology were written in the joint declaration. That is significant,” he said.Following the meeting, Kim attended a banquet jointly sponsored by major organizations in Kansai with about 100 guests including Osaka Gov. “Knock” Yokoyama.Yokoyama said that the Kansai region including Osaka has a strong tie with South Korea as many Korean residents live in the area and hoped that the relationship would be further fostered by Kim’s visit.According to the Korean Residents Union in Japan, out of 670,000 Korean residents in Japan, about 320,000 live in the Kansai region, 180,000 of whom live in Osaka Prefecture.

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