Japan, Korea fans upbeat at festival


Japan and South Korea were in a festive mood over the weekend despite continuing tensions over history issues and territorial disputes.

A two-day cultural exchange festival ended Sunday after participants at Hibiya Park in central Tokyo enjoyed a variety of performances by people from both countries, including traditional music, dance, and a martial arts performance.

At the opening event Saturday, South Korean Ambassador to Japan Lee Byung-kee said the bilateral relationship is in a slightly difficult period now, which makes it all the more important for the two countries to understand and talk to each other.

The ceremony was attended by Princess Hisako of Takamado, the first Imperial family member to make an official visit to South Korea since the war, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s wife, Akie.

They joined South Korean lawmakers to make Korean dishes and open a celebratory Japanese sake cask on stage.

The organizer of the event says the number of visitors doubled from last year to 50,000.