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Japan, SKorea try conciliatory approach

Japan and South Korea Thursday took a conciliatory step toward mending ties frayed by months of low-level squabbling with a courtesy call between foreign ministers.

South Korea’s First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kyou Hyun, who has been visiting Japan this week, met with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida at his office in Tokyo.

The pair were pictured shaking hands and smiling. Their meeting came as the two US allies have struggled to end diplomatic discord over Japan’s wartime aggression in Korea, a territorial dispute, and a general animosity that soured relations over the last year.

The tension has obviated any meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Park Geun Hye, both of whom have only been in power for a few months.
‘South Korea is an important partner and neighbour that shares fundamental values and interests. I hope to enhance bilateral relations by continuing our close communication,’ Kishida said at the onset of the meeting.

Kim echoed Kishida’s statement, saying: ‘South Korea and Japan are partners who should work together for the peace and stability of the region.’
The two men did not discuss a putative summit in any detail.
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