Several South Korean cities have canceled exchange programs with Japanese municipalities, amid heightened tensions as Tokyo-Seoul ties tumble to their lowest point in years due to disputes over wartime history and trade policy.

Busan, which is South Korea's second-biggest city, said Sunday it will suspend administrative exchanges with Japan, including visits by its officials to the neighboring country, until the bilateral relationship improves.

Although the port city has not disclosed all of the programs it will suspend, it cited as an example the signing of an accord with Nagasaki Prefecture on goodwill exchanges. Busan, accessible from the city of Fukuoka by high-speed boats, is known for its active exchanges with Japan.