Chief Cabinet Secretary Kanezo Muraoka and South Korean Ambassador Kim Suk-Kyu agreed Tuesday to work toward resolving a bilateral fisheries dispute by October, when South Korean President Kim Dae Jung is scheduled to visit Japan, Muraoka said.

It will be Kim’s first visit here as president. Muraoka and the ambassador came to the agreement while meeting at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence, Muraoka told a regular news conference.

Kim requested that Muraoka continue to make efforts on the issue to ensure that the presidential visit is a success, Muraoka said. Pledging further action, Muraoka said he hopes the issue will be solved by the time of the visit.

Late last week, working-level officials of both countries agreed at a meeting in Seoul to speed up efforts to work out a conclusion by October. Their next talks are scheduled for late July in Tokyo.

Hoping to make a fresh start on the negotiations after Kim took office in February, the government resumed its efforts to sign a new fishing treaty with Seoul while the current treaty is valid. One of the provisions of the treaty says that if one of the nations decides to scrap the pact, it will continue to be effective for a year after.

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