Tokyo-Seoul talks slated in Brunei

JIJI

Tokyo and Seoul have agreed to hold a meeting of their foreign ministers in Brunei on the sidelines of meetings related to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the first time since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration took office in December, the Japanese government said Saturday.

The two countries are looking at Monday for a meeting between Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and his South Korean counterpart, Yun Byung-se, sources said.

Kishida and Yun will exchange views on issues including North Korea’s nuclear and missile issues, hoping to start mending soured ties between their countries, according to the sources.

Japan-South Korea relations have deteriorated over a rift involving the Sea of Japan islets called Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea, the issue of so-called comfort women who were forced into prostitution for Japanese soldiers before and during the war, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s recognition of history.

No bilateral foreign ministerial talks have been held since Japan’s Koichiro Genba and South Korea’s Kim Sung-hwan met in New York in September last year.

It will be the first meeting of their foreign ministers under the governments of Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-hye. Abe took office in December and Park was inaugurated in February.