U.S. urges Tokyo, Seoul to talk it out


The United States suggested Friday that Japan and South Korea talk to each other to resolve their differences, including an ongoing South Korean project to build a statue of the man who killed Japan’s first prime minister.

“We encourage Japan and Korea to work together to resolve concerns over history in an amicable way through dialogue,” U.S. Department of State spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

She made this remark when asked to comment on Seoul’s plan to erect the statue of Ahn Jung-geun at Harbin Station in northeastern China, where the Korean independence activist assassinated Hirobumi Ito, Japan’s first prime minister and first resident general of Korea, in 1909.

Stressing that strong constructive relationships between Japan and South Korea are in the interests of not only the two countries but the United States, Psaki said Washington will keep encouraging Tokyo and Seoul to concentrate on areas of cooperation and dialogue while watching the situation closely. But she declined to say whether Washington will do more to help the two countries mend ties.