Home > News > Regional
Sunday April 13, 2014 MYT 5:01:00 PM
Sunday April 13, 2014 MYT 5:03:36 PM
TOKYO: Japan and South Korea will hold talks this week to try to improve frosty relations before President Barack Obama visits both the US allies during an Asian tour, it was announced Sunday.
The two governments "have decided to engage in intensive discussions on various subjects at various levels" to improve conditions surrounding relations, the Japanese foreign ministry said in a statement.
Junichi Ihara, head of its Asia and Oceania affairs bureau, will visit Seoul on Wednesday for a meeting with his Korean counterpart, the statement said.
"At the occasion, the comfort women issue will be discussed," it added.
Relations between Tokyo and Seoul have sunk to their worst level in years, mired in emotive disputes linked to Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule over Korea - particularly its use of so-called "comfort women" from Korea and other Asian nations as sex slaves in wartime brothels.
The emotional issue has deeply divided the key US allies in northeast Asia amid growing regional security risks such as China's military buildup and North Korea's nuclear ambitions.
Obama managed last month to arrange the first summit meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, in The Hague.
Japan's government made a landmark apology in 1993 to the "comfort women".
But repeated wavering since then on the issue among senior right-wing politicians has contributed to a feeling in South Korea that Japan is in denial and is not sufficiently remorseful.
Abe, despite his nationalistic inclinations, promised last month not to revise the 1993 apology, and said he was "deeply pained" by the suffering of women drawn into a system of wartime brothels.
Obama will also visit Malaysia and the Philippines during his Asian tour this month. -AFP
Tags / Keywords:
Regional, Japan, South Korea, comfort woman, barack obama, asian tour
National sepak takraw team head to Korea for training
US and Japan widen defence ties
Appeals court convicts S. Korea ferry captain of murder
Solar power the way to go
Better Japan-China ties
Centenarian survived a week buried in rubble of his home
For Nepal’s sake, save the ruins
Abbott: Europe-Australia talks over stopping asylum-seeker boats
Next stop – Sensational Singapore
How Malaysians abroad are bridging a skills gap
10 ways to discover Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef
Moores may face the music after Caribbean flop
Triple joy for Buddhists
Hands free talk with global reach and style
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)