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US calls for 'urgent' restraint to ease Japan, Korea tensions

Published on Mar 5, 2014 6:44 AM

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The United States expressed concern on Tuesday about tensions between Japan and Korea and said its two main allies in Asia could not afford to let historical rivalry interfere with ensuring security in the region.

"There is an urgent need to show prudence and restraint in dealing with difficult historical issues. It is important to handle them in a way that promotes healing," Washington's top diplomat for the East Asian region, Daniel Russel, said in prepared testimony for a US Senate hearing.

Mr Russel, the assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, said strategic cooperation between the United States, Japan, and South Korea was essential for future security in Northeast Asia, given the threat post by North Korea and other "regional uncertainties," a reference to concerns about an increasingly assertive China.

"No one can afford to allow the burdens of history to prevent us from building a secure future," Mr Russel said.

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