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Japanese foreign minister calls for high-level talks with Korea Updated: 2014-02-19 06:35:31 KST

Korea-Japan relations, which remain strained due to territorial and historical disputes, took a dive in December when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the controversial Yasukuni war shrine -- a shrine that honors World War Two-era war criminals.
In an aim to break over two months of silence and mend ties, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, at a news conference on Tuesday expressed a will to meet with his South Korean counterpart Yun Byung-se.
He emphasized the importance of trilateral cooperation between Japan, the United States and South Korea in the face of the threats posed by North Korea.
Kishida had already conveyed hopes for high-level talks when he met with Korea's Second Vice Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul last month in Switzerland on the sidelines of an international conference.
The new call for talks comes ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Asia this April.
Earlier this month at a meeting in Washington,.. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Kishida and Japan to improve relations with Korea ahead of President Obama's visit.
High-level talks do not seem imminent however, as there has been no resolution to speak of on the historical disputes that divide Korea and Japan.
Japan has yet to offer compensation to the so-called "comfort women" who were forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military during the Second World War.
And this Saturday,.. Japan will hold a controversial event stressing its claim to Korea's easternmost islets of Dokdo, or Takeshima as they are called in Japan, despite Seoul's repeated calls to scrap the event.
Yoo Li-an, Arirang News.


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