Seoul's Lotte Hotel cancels plan to host Japan self-defence forces event

SEOUL - South Korea's high-end hotel chain Lotte Hotel cancelled its plan to host a Japanese annual event marking the establishment of the Japanese self-defence forces on Thursday, citing unfavourable public sentiment here.

The Embassy of Japan in South Korea had planned to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the modern Japanese military at Lotte Hotel in central Seoul on Friday, Yonhap news agency reported.

"In consideration of the public sentiment, (we) cancelled the Japanese embassy's special event scheduled for Friday," Yonhap quoted the hotel as saying.

"We created public concerns by processing the reservation without correct prior information about the event."

The hotel said it notified the embassy of the cancellation. It is unclear whether the embassy is planning to hold the event elsewhere, said the report.

The Japanese embassy in Seoul has marked the establishment of its defence forces annually with various events here. This year, it had planned a larger-than-usual public event to mark the 60th anniversary, according to Yonhap.

Lotte Hotel's decision comes amid heightened Seoul-Tokyo relations, which Seoul blames on Japan's stance on history and move to expand the role of its military.

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