In a newspaper interview published in South Korea on Wednesday, Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono indicated Tokyo's preference to continue a bilateral accord on sharing military intelligence with Seoul that is set to be renewed next month.

Kono's written interview, which was published by the South Korean daily JoongAng Ilbo, comes amid mounting concern over the potential impact of worsening South Korea-Japan ties on the security cooperation accord between the two countries.

"The ties between the two countries are in a very difficult condition, but Japan will continue to cooperate with South Korea on the agenda on which it should cooperate, including the North Korea issue," Kono was quoted as saying.