• Kyodo

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Officials are arranging for South Korean President Lee Myung Bak to visit Japan on Dec. 17 and 18 for a summit with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda as part of their shuttle diplomacy agreement, diplomatic sources said Friday.

Lee had been expected to make a state visit to Japan, but thorny issues such as compensation for South Korean women forced to work as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during the war and the dispute over islets in the Sea of Japan have made it difficult. For this reason, both governments apparently decided that an early trip to Japan on a working visit is desirable for stabilizing bilateral ties.

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