Japan eager to mend ties with South Korea


Tokyo: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe revealed Tuesday that he was preparing to hold telephone talks with South Korean President Park Geun-hye to mend their soured bilateral relations.

Abe said that he will take advantage of the launches of the new governments in the two countries to build “future-oriented” relations with South Korea, Xinhua reported.

On Monday, during a meeting with Japan’s former finance minister Fukushiro Nukaga, Abe said he wants to improve Tokyo-Seoul relations that soured due to territorial dispute.

Japan and South Korea claim sovereignty over two islands, which are called as Dokdo in South Korea and Takeshima in Japan, in the Sea of Japan. The islets are controlled by South Korea.

Japan reiterated several times its willingness to mend ties with South Korea since Abe returned to power last December. But both sides seemingly adopted little tangible actions to mend ties and sparkled more verbal attacks.

Despite South Korean opposition, Japan recently held the annual “Takeshima Day” to commemorate the disputed islets. The government sent Aiko Shimajiri, a parliamentary secretary with the cabinet office, to the event, marking the first occupant of one of the top three posts for lawmakers in a government ministry to attend the event.

The event triggered strong opposition in Seoul immediately as many South Koreans gathered in front of Japan’s embassy in Seoul to protest against the event.