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
Japan joins US-Australia war games amid China tensions
Less is more, say those planning for weddings
Takahashi gets it right in Suzuka Race Two
South Korean official falls to death in China
Japan pledges RM23bil aid to ‘Mekong Five’
Australian political rivals unite for Aboriginal recognition
India abuzz over ‘velfie’ craze
Japan hails new UNESCO listing despite Korean qualms
China using animals to predict earthquakes: report
Celebrate Raya in style with GEMFIVE
The 3 unexpected life events that leave us in debt
Uber suspends controversial UberPOP service in France
Serena downs Venus to reach Wimbledon quarters
SPAD and cops foil touts at bus terminals
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Media Group Berhad (ROC 10894D)(Formerly known as Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad)