National / Politics

Japan's top security official to visit S. Korea for talks

Kyodo

Japan’s top security official will make a two-day visit to Seoul for talks with South Korea’s top presidential aide for national security, both governments said Monday.

Shotaro Yachi, national security adviser to the Cabinet, is expected to explain Japan’s stance on security policy in his talks starting Tuesday with Kim Kwan-jin, chief of the National Security Office at the presidential office, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said in Tokyo.

“Topics to be covered include the situation in Northeast Asia, the international situation and issues of strategic concern, as well as matters of bilateral concern such as diplomatic affairs and security,” South Korea’s presidential office said in a statement.

It will be Yachi’s first visit to South Korea since he became the top bureaucrat in the National Security Council in January. He had been awaiting a reply from Seoul for several months since he initially sought to arrange such a visit, according to a government source.

To mend ties between Tokyo and Seoul frayed by issues over history and territory, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expressed hopes of holding summit talks with South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

Yachi is known to have accompanied former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda when he met secretly with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing in late July, a move widely seen as laying the groundwork for a future Japan-China summit.

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