In reporting on the reshuffled Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Chinese and South Korean media focused on expectations for improved ties under new Foreign Minister Taro Kono.

Kono was characterized as a more dovish politician in comparison to the prime minister.

Many of the media reports touched upon Kono's father, Yohei, and his liberal stance on foreign policy issues.

For example, the Internet version of the China News Service, a wire service directed at Chinese expats, noted that Yohei Kono was chief Cabinet secretary in 1993 when a statement was issued under his name in which the government admitted to military involvement in the use of "comfort women" before and during World War II.

The China News Service report said, "(Yohei Kono's) political stance was different from the more hawkish views held by Abe."

South Korean media also focused on the Kono statement regarding the comfort women, who were forced to provide sex to Japanese military personnel.

The Yonhap News Agency reported that the newly appointed foreign minister "was the oldest son of the principal actor behind the Kono statement."

The report went on to stress Taro Kono's past criticism of Abe for his visits to Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which memorializes 14 Class-A war criminals, along with Japan's war dead.

But not all South Korean media were openly welcoming the new foreign minister.

At a news conference late on Aug. 3, Taro Kono was asked about the bilateral agreement reached with South Korea in December 2015 that provides support measures to former comfort women.

"It is desirable that the Japan-South Korea agreement moves forward in a steady manner," Kono said.

Reflecting the growing dissatisfaction with the agreement in South Korea, The Dong-A Ilbo daily newspaper reported about Kono's comment, "It threw cold water on the expectations that bilateral relations would be improved."

At a news conference in Tokyo on Aug. 4, Taro Kono indicated that efforts were being made to schedule meetings with his counterparts from China and South Korea on the sidelines of a series of foreign ministers' meetings related to ASEAN in Manila that will begin from Aug. 6.

"I want to deepen our friendly relations," he said. "I hope to conduct discussions on various issues in a future-oriented manner."

Referring to the favorable reception in China and South Korea based on the fact that Yohei Kono stressed Asian diplomacy when he served as foreign minister, Taro Kono said, "If they are happy because the son has become foreign minister, I feel that I must be grateful for the debt I owe my father."

South Korean media also focused on Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera and his past statements favoring the capability to conduct pre-emptive strikes on enemy bases.

"There are concerns such views could increase momentum for Japan to become a major military power," according to the Yonhap News Agency.