The Straits Times
Published on Sep 09, 2012

Clinton urges Japan, S.Korea to 'lower temperature'


VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (AFP) - United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday urged US allies South Korea and Japan to "lower the temperature" in a simmering territorial row.

Mrs Clinton said she raised the tensions during separate talks at an Asia-Pacific summit in Russia with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and South Korean President Lee Myung Bak, who shunned each other at the event.

"I raised these issues with both of them, urging that their interests really lie in making sure that they lower the temperature and work together, in a concerted way, to have a calm and restrained approach," Mrs Clinton told reporters. "I think that's being heard."

Japan and South Korea have long been at odds over colonial history and tensions have flared between the two close US allies since Mr Lee paid an unprecedented visit to islands controlled by Seoul but claimed by both.