Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto told a delegation of South Korean lawmakers on Sept. 3 that Japan will give Seoul a clear outline of its relationship with North Korea when it promotes bilateral talks with the communist nation.

Hashimoto made the remark when the group of South Korean legislators — members of the Korea-Japan legislators’ league headed by Kim Yoon Whan — paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister’s Official Residence. Hashimoto said that a dialogue is currently under way with North Korea to deal with long-pending problems. He added that Japan will proceed with the negotiations by explaining to South Korea its relevant policies.

In a keynote speech during a joint Tokyo meeting between Japan and South Korean legislators, Yang Jung Kyu, who heads the South Korean delegation, urged Japanese counterparts Sept. 3 to strengthen bilateral cooperation to solve various issues, including North Korean relations and the instability of currencies in Asia. Yang also said South Korea hopes Japan will proceed with the ongoing revision of guidelines for Japan-U.S. defense cooperation through full discussions with other countries in Asia. Such discussions are hoped to prevent a rise in tension in the region over the revision.

Japanese participants in the 24th joint meeting included former Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita, chairman of the Japan-Korea legislators’ league, Taku Yamasaki, policy chief of the Liberal Democratic Party and Finance Minister Hiroshi Mitsuzuka. Takeshita told the participants that the legislators of both countries need to play a part in solving remaining problems between Japan and South Korea.

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