Yukio Hatoyama, leader of the Democratic Party of Japan, will lead a delegation to South Korea from May 1 to 4 for talks with South Korean President Kim Dae Jung.

Hatoyama and Kim will meet on May 2 to discuss the recent controversy over a Japanese school history textbook that Seoul says glosses over Japan’s wartime aggression, as well as bilateral relations and the situation in East Asia, the officials said.

The DPJ, which approved the visit Tuesday, is also hoping to promote exchanges with South Korean political parties, they said.

The delegation is scheduled to hold a forum with Japanese residents in South Korea to present its policies.

Some party members were cautious about sending a delegation at a time when the textbook issue has put a strain on Tokyo-Seoul ties, the officials said.

Hatoyama, however, said he wants to frankly convey the party’s stance on sensitive historical issues, they said.

“Our party is one that dares to take on (such) challenges in severe times (like this) for the national interest,” they quoted Hatoyama as saying.

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