South Korea does not want a bilateral fisheries pact with Japan to be scrapped by the Japanese government, and the two governments should continue negotiations for a new pact with the current one intact, South Korean official Kim Yoon Hwan told Foreign Minister Keizo Obuchi on Tuesday.Obuchi explained Japan’s domestic situation on the issue, ministry officials told reporters. Japan is said to be leaning toward scrapping the 1965 fisheries agreement because of deadlocked negotiations for a new accord and because of pressure from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.Japan and South Korea held a series of talks on a new pact after both last year ratified the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, which allows them to set 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zones around their shores. But the negotiations have been deadlocked because the zones overlap a group of islets in the Sea of Japan claimed by both countries.Meanwhile, Obuchi told Kim, head of South Korea’s parliamentary group of Japan relations, that the Japanese government will continue to assist the South Korean economy, which has been hit by financial crises, the officials said.

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