Gone in 60 seconds: Abe-Park ‘talks’


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a brief conversation — for less than a minute — Tuesday with South Korean President Park Geun-hye in Indonesia amid ongoing bilateral tensions over a number of issues.

Abe talked to Park as they sat next to each other at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit in Bali.

Details of their discussion have not been disclosed. The two countries did not agreed to hold formal bilateral talks on the sidelines of the APEC summit.

Japan and South Korea face growing tensions in their relations over the Takeshima dispute in the Sea of Japan and the historic issues that stem from Japan’s wartime aggression in Asia. Seoul has strongly protested recent remarks by some Japanese lawmakers apparently justifying Tokyo’s perception of history.

Joining APEC-relevant meetings Monday, Abe shook hands with Park as well as Chinese President Xi Jinping, another neighbor that has seen significant deteriorations in relations with Japan since last year.

Japanese officials have also failed to schedule bilateral talks between Abe and Xi.

Still, the Japanese government welcomed the leaders’ brief contacts in Bali, suggesting it will keep seeking a summit with China and South Korea.

“I believe it is favorable that the leaders repeatedly see each other and exchange greetings,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference in Tokyo.

Tokyo is “always open” to dialogue with China and regards South Korea as “an important neighbor that shares the same values” as Japan, Suga added.

  • Jamie Bakeridge

    Irresponsible grandstanding by two politicians who place small-minded nationalistic vendettas above their responsibility as world leaders.

    • Justice1215

      In 21 century statesman is a rare species. Lots and lots of politicians just like Abe are mainly concerned about winning an election,with no moral fiber they will actually lie to keep a position they hold and always thinking of the next election.

  • bridgebuilder78

    Abe, “hi!”

    Park, “fix Fukushima.”

    Abe, “…”

    End of 60-second conversation.

  • Mike Wyckoff

    In other news, Obama spoke on the phone, Putin rode a horse, and Canada’s Steven Harper is still as irrelevant as Tony Abbot.

    Kyodo, Can I have another helping of “news”? and this time use a BIGGER SPOON!

  • Casper Steuperaert

    I think the only people who can fix the Japan-Korea-China relations is someone not ethnically Japanese, Korean or Chinese. Get an outside diplomat to do the solving

    • Justice1215

      The whole thing is manipulated by US. US is seeking to maintain supremacy in Asia with the help of his subservient states like Japan and Philippine.

      • Casper Steuperaert

        Then why are Japan and South Korea (2 allies of the US) bickering? I know the US can’t be trusted, but I fail to see the connection

  • Justice1215

    Abe a member of famous WWII war criminal family,with no wisdom and courage to face the Japanese war criminal history will never be able to give majority peace loving Japanese people real peace and prosperity.

    In stock market we invest in the future,so is in international politic. What Abe did and continue to do is invest his country in the past. He still stuck in the past !He is not only trying to fool his people but also trying to fool the world. Mr. Abe it is 21st century not 20th century.Your boss American superpower is a decline in the making.

    As One of the most popular author, novelist, film-maker in Japan, Ryuu Marukami, said this –

    Which means, ”Japan has anything, but hope”.