japan south korea agree to talks to improve relations kyodo - Japan, South Korea agree to talks to improve relations: Kyodo

TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) – Japan and South Korea agreed to have a dialogue to restore a “healthy relationship” after long-simmering tensions between the two sides worsened in recent years, Kyodo reported.

Japan Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi met with his South Korean counterpart Chung Eui-Yong on the sidelines of G-7 summit in Liverpool, England, on Saturday (Dec 11) and affirmed the importance of cooperation, Kyodo said, citing the Japanese ministry.

South Korea’s Foreign Ministry is checking the report, a spokesman said by phone.

The two Asian nations have been at loggerheads, with disputes dating back to Japan’s 1910-45 colonisation of the Korean Peninsula hurting trade and security ties between the two US allies.

The current South Korean administration has accused Japan of failing to show proper contrition over historical issues.

It has also supported decisions by South Korean courts in recent years that ordered compensation for Korean workers conscripted to work in Japan’s wartime factories and mines.

Mr Hayashi urged Mr Chung to give an “appropriate response” to resolve the disputes over compensation for the wartime workers, Kyodo said.

President Joe Biden has attempted to mend frayed ties between the neighbours, who are key to ensuring supply chains and providing security against the strategic threats posed by China and North Korea.

In November, US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman gave a solo news conference in Washington after a meeting with her Japanese and South Korean counterparts as the two decided to not participate due to the disputes.