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S. Korea, Japan to hold working-level talks amid tensions over trade, history

South Korea and Japan will hold working-level diplomatic talks in Seoul this week, Seoul's foreign ministry said Tuesday, in what appears to be another move to address tensions over history and trade.

Kim Jung-han, director-general for Asian and Pacific affairs at the foreign ministry, will meet his Japanese counterpart, Shigeki Takizaki, on Wednesday afternoon to discuss issues of mutual interest, the ministry said.


Director general Kim Jung-han of Asian and Pacific Affairs at Seoul’s Foreign Ministry (Yonhap)
Director general Kim Jung-han of Asian and Pacific Affairs at Seoul’s Foreign Ministry (Yonhap)

Their meeting comes amid growing hopes that Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon's planned attendance at Japanese Emperor Naruhito's enthronement ceremony, slated for Oct. 22 in Tokyo, would help create momentum to thaw the chilled ties between Seoul and Tokyo.

The two countries have clashed over Tokyo's new export curbs seen as political retaliation for last year's Korean Supreme Court rulings that ordered Japanese firms to compensate victims of forced labor during Japan's 1910-45 colonization of the Korean Peninsula.

Friction has also persisted over Seoul's decision to withdraw from a bilateral confidential military information-sharing deal seen as a rare case of two-way defense collaboration and a symbolic platform to promote Washington's trilateral security cooperation with its two Asian allies.

Kim and Takizaki last held talks in Tokyo on Sept. 20.

The two countries have agreed to hold such working-level diplomatic talks on a regular basis if possible each month. (Yonhap)



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