Japan welcomes South Korean intelligence chief visit as chance to talk

South Korea's National Intelligence Service chief Park Jie-won arrived in Tokyo on Nov 8. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan on Monday (Nov 9) welcomes the visit of South Korea's intelligence chief Park Jie-won as an opportunity to discuss frosty ties between Seoul and Tokyo, the government's chief spokesman said.

South Korea's National Intelligence Service chief arrived in Tokyo on Sunday and met senior ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Toshihiro Nikai, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said.

"Ties between Japan and South Korea are strained and for these two long-time friends to meet and talk is meaningful," Mr Kato said during a regular press briefing.

The NIS declined to confirm his schedule citing security concerns, but South Korean lawmakers said last week, after being briefed by the intelligence agency, that it was arranging a trip by Mr Park and his meetings with Japanese officials.

Mr Kato also declined to provide details of who else Mr Park would meet during his time in Japan.

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