The Straits Times
Published on Nov 16, 2012

Japan finance minister to visit Seoul next week amid diplomatic tensions


TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japanese Finance Minister Koriki Jojima said on Friday he would visit Seoul on Nov 24 to meet with his South Korean counterpart at a finance dialogue, in a sign of some thawing in bilateral relations amid tensions over a territorial dispute.

The dialogue, the fifth of its kind, marks the first fully-fledged official meeting between the two Asian neighbours since the territorial spat flared up in the summer.

Talks had been postponed since Mr Jojima's predecessor Jun Azumi cancelled his trip to Seoul in August when President Lee Myung Bak's visit to the islands that both countries claim sovereignty over sparked the political row.

South Korea controls the islands, known as Dokdo in Korean and Takeshima in Japanese, equidistant from the mainlands of both countries. Japan is also embroiled in a dispute with China over a different group of islands in the East China Sea.