When Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi wrapped up his two-day visit to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum Saturday evening, he headed home without making headway in mending Japan’s strained relations with China and South Korea.

The spotlight was on what he would do about the ties with Japan’s two most important neighbors after they turned sour because of his repeated visits to Yasukuni Shrine.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.