• Kyodo

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After declaring that it would sever bilateral friendship ties due to a territorial row, North Kyongsang Province of South Korea has invited Shimane Gov. Nobuyoshi Sumita to a ceremony in May, prefectural officials said Tuesday.

They said it is the first time the South Korean province has made a positive move since Sumita sent it a letter on March 23 calling for calm amid the row over a South Korea-controlled islets claimed by Japan. The islets are known as Takeshima in Japan and Tok-do in South Korea.

The ceremony is to celebrate the opening in the province of the secretariat office of the Association of North East Asia Regional Governments.

On March 16, the province threatened to cut the friendship arrangement with Shimane Prefecture after the prefectural assembly enacted an ordinance designating Feb. 22 as “Takeshima Day.”

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