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A committee of the Kawasaki Municipal Assembly unanimously endorsed a petition Thursday calling on the central government to normalize diplomatic relations with North Korea, city officials said.

The committee decided to submit to the assembly a resolution on the petition, originally submitted by the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryun) and other groups, for approval at its plenary session on Monday, the officials said.

The municipal assembly secretariat said similar petitions have been submitted in other cities in Japan, following increasing recent contact between North and South Korea.

However, if Kawasaki were to adopt the resolution, it would be the first major Japanese city to do so.

The committee noted that since the inter-Korean summit in June, the city, located adjacent to Tokyo, has witnessed pro-Pyongyang and pro-Seoul groups holding a joint event for the first time, the officials said.

Kawasaki, which has a relatively high proportion of Korean residents, is experiencing exchanges between the two groups at the fastest rate in Japan, the officials said.

The proposed resolution is intended to express the city’s wish for peace and stability in Northeast Asia and to take the lead on the issue among local governments in Japan.

Editors share news

TAEJON, South Korea (Kyodo) Senior editors from 12 Japanese and South Korean regional newspapers on Thursday agreed to share information when major news stories break.

The agreement was reached on the second day of their two-day forum in the central South Korean city of Taejon.

They also agreed to meet next fall in Sendai for the annual event aimed at promoting exchanges between the two countries.

On the second day, discussions centered on media coverage of local politics, common problems facing local governments and ways to promote exchanges between people in Japan and South Korea.

Participating from Japan were senior editors from the Sendai-based Kahoku Shimpo, the Niigata Shimpo, the Shizuoka Shimbun, the Hiroshima-based Chugoku Shimbun, the Kochi Shimbun and the Kumamoto Nichinichi Shimbun.

The South Korean participants included senior editors from the Taejon Times, Kang-won Ilbo and four other papers.

The annual forum began in 1995 in Hiroshima. The venue alternates between Japan and South Korea.

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