ALERT LINE
Leaders of South Korea and Japan Speak of Improving Ties

Leaders of South Korea and Japan Speak of Improving Ties

SEOUL, South Korea — The leaders of South Korea and Japan called on Monday for their countries to leave behind historical disputes and improve ties, a rare exchange of conciliatory remarks that came as the leaders observed the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations at embassy events in their capitals.

Ties have been so strained in recent years over issues rooted in Japan’s colonial rule of Korea in the early 20th century that the attendance of the South Korean president, Park Geun-hye, at a reception hosted by the Japanese Embassy in Seoul and that of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a corresponding ceremony in Tokyo are being hailed as a triumph.

“What is important is to ensure that circumstances are put in place that allow us to free ourselves of the heavy burden of history, our single greatest impediment, in the spirit of reconciliation and harmony,” Ms. Park said during the ceremony attended by the heads of other foreign missions to South Korea, including the American ambassador, Mark W. Lippert.

Source: Leaders of South Korea and Japan Speak of Improving Ties – The New York Times