Japan will propose to South Korea that the number of flights between Narita and Seoul be increased to alleviate the shortage of flights between the two countries, Vice Transport Minister Hisashi Umezaki said Monday.

Umezaki told a press conference that the Japanese government is considering an increase to one flight per hour once a second runway under construction at Narita becomes available in May 2002.

Foreign Minister Yohei Kono and South Korean Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Lee Joung Binn agreed Sunday on the need to increase transportation capacity before the two countries jointly host the 2002 World Cup.

South Korea has favored a plan to open a shuttle plane service between Haneda and Seoul airports to solve the aviation problem.

But Umezaki ruled out that possibility, saying that Haneda is already operating at full capacity to serve domestic flights.

He said Japan and South Korea should consider making more use of Narita airport to solve the problem.

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