Japanese diplomat arrives in Seoul for talks on wartime history, trade
SEOUL, A Japanese diplomat arrived in Seoul on Wednesday for talks with his South Korean counterparts amid a prolonged row between the two countries over Tokyo’s wartime forced labor and export curbs.
Shigeki Takizaki, director general at the Japanese foreign ministry’s Asian and Oceanian affairs bureau, began his three-day visit on his first trip to South Korea since Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga took office last month.
On Thursday, Takizaki is set to hold separate talks with Kim Jung-han, the foreign ministry’s director-general for Asia and Pacific affairs, Seoul officials said.
“Everything which we have to discuss,” he said upon his arrival at Incheon International Airport, in response to reporters’ question about the agenda for his talks with Kim.
The Japanese official, who doubles as Japan’s chief nuclear envoy, is also expected to meet with Seoul’s chief nuclear negotiator, Lee Do-hoon.
Takizaki’s visit came as tensions between the two countries continued over Seoul’s move to compensate the victims of wartime forced labor by selling off Korea-based assets of a Japanese firm.
Suga has warned against the move and called for Seoul to craft a solution to the issue, based on Tokyo’s claim that all reparation issues stemming from Japan’s 1910-45 colonization of the Korean Peninsula were settled by a 1965 treat that normalized bilateral relations.
Kim and Takizaki last held what had been their regular working-level talks in Seoul in February. Due to coronavirus restrictions, they held video-linked talks in June.
Source: Yonhap News Agency