SEOUL (Kyodo) South Korean President Lee Myung Bak said Tuesday he hopes Emperor Akihito will visit Seoul next year to “put an end to the sense of distance” between the two countries as 2010 marks a century since the start of Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

Lee also expressed strong hope for the development of bilateral relations under the incoming government of Democratic Party of Japan leader Yukio Hatoyama.

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