National / Politics

Key LDP lawmaker, Seoul counterpart push for Abe-Park summit by June 22

Kyodo

A senior Liberal Democratic Party politician and his South Korean counterpart on Wednesday agreed to make efforts to arrange a meeting between the countries’ leaders by June 22.

Fukushiro Nukaga, who heads the supra-partisan Japan-South Korea parliamentarians’ league, met in Tokyo with the visiting leader of its counterpart in South Korea, Suh Chung-won.

They agreed the two leagues should make efforts to bring about a summit between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Park Geun-hye by the 50th anniversary of the signing of a pact to normalize relations between the two countries, according to sources.

At the meeting, Nukaga said the two countries need to seek a breakthrough in bilateral relations, which have been strained by the wartime “comfort women” issue and a territorial dispute, through candid dialogue, the sources said.

“That’s true,” they quoted Suh as responding. But he asked that Japan show favorable action on the issue of the thousands of women and girls who were forced to work in wartime Japanese military brothels.

Earlier in the day, LDP Secretary-General Sadakazu Tanigaki met with Suh at party headquarters in Tokyo and conveyed Abe’s wish to hold a bilateral summit with Park.

Suh replied: “There is no one who opposes a meeting between the leaders of Japan and South Korea. Everybody thinks it’s necessary,” according to the sources.

Suh was expected to meet Abe on Thursday afternoon at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo.

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