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Abe to attend the event marking Korea-Japan ties for first time

Abe to attend the event marking Korea-Japan ties for first time

Posted June. 08, 2015 06:25,   


Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will attend in person an event marking the 50th anniversary of Korea-Japan ties that will take place in Tokyo on June 22. A diplomatic source in Seoul said on Friday, “Prime Minister Abe decided to attend an event hosted by the Korean Embassy in Japan to be held in Tokyo, and details are being coordinated.” Abe will send a video message to an event set to take place at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul on the same date. The South Korean government is reportedly considering whether to take corresponding measures.

If Abe participates in the event marking the Korea-Japan ties, he will be the highest-ranking official ever to attend an event hosted by the Korean Embassy. Attention is focusing on whether the Japanese leader will make comments on past history and Japanese military comfort women. Another matter of interest is how President Park Geun-hye will respond. Abe’s wife Akie attended in person at the Korea-Japan festival in Tokyo in September 2013. No government officials attended last year’s event, which was convened primarily for people in the culture and arts community. David Ignatius, a columnist for the Washington Post who recently interviewed Abe, claimed on Wednesday, “Steps are being taken for Prime Minister Abe to make a new statement on the comfort women issue,” but a South Korean official said, “Korea and Japan are not discussing a plan to issue an announcement or statement.”

Meanwhile, a second Korea-Japan bilateral meeting on Japan’s planned registration of UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage will take place in Seoul early next week. The issue in question is what compromise Korea and Japan will reach over the fact that a contemporary industrial facility Tokyo is moving to register with UNESCO was involved in Korean slave laborers during Japan’s colonial rule. The World Cultural Heritage Committee recommends the two countries find a solution through mutual consultations before the committee meets in Bonne, Germany on June 28 and decide whether to register it or not. Korea is participating in the talks with the aim of halting Japan’s UNESCO registration of the facility.