Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura and his South Korean counterpart, Ban Ki Moon, will meet in Islamabad on Thursday, Japanese government sources said Monday.
The meeting will be held on the sidelines of the foreign minister-level Asian Cooperation Dialogue forum, which starts Tuesday.
It will be the first time the foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea have met since relations between the two countries deteriorated after a territorial dispute was rekindled over a group of South Korean-controlled islets in the Sea of Japan.
The islets are called Takeshima in Japanese and Tok-do in Korean. South Korea has reacted against a recent local ordinance in Shimane Prefecture to establish “Takeshima Day.”
Ban is expected to strongly protest Japan’s handling of the dispute as well the screening of a civics textbook for junior high schools. The result of the screening is due this week.
Meanwhile, Machimura is expected to explain the Japanese government’s position on these issues and repeat that Japan wants the two countries to develop ties in a future-oriented manner.
Machimura is also expected to ask South Korea to take a level-headed approach when dealing with the issues.
On Friday, Ban told South Korean reporters that Seoul had concluded after analyzing Japan’s textbook screening that the civics textbook compiled by a Tokyo publisher has been changed for the worse because the disputed territory is described by its Japanese name in the textbook.
Ban canceled a trip to Japan last month after the territorial row erupted.
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