Japan’s PM to Visit South Korea This Month

Posted October 6th, 2011 at 8:00 am (UTC-5)
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Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is to visit Seoul this month for talks with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.

Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba announced plans for the meeting during a visit to Seoul Thursday. He said the two-day visit will begin on October 18.

Mr. Noda and Gemba both took office in a Japanese government shake-up last month. Gemba was in Seoul for talks with his counterpart on North Korea's nuclear program and other issues.

The nuclear issue is likely to figure in talks between Mr. Lee and Mr. Noda. All the participants in the six-party negotiations on Pyongyang's programs have been engaged in escalating diplomacy, as North Korea presses for a resumption of the talks.

South Korea has also demanded that Japan compensate women forced into sexual slavery during World War II to serve Japanese soldiers.

The South Korean government has been ordered by the courts to pursue the matter, but Japan insists it was settled with a package of grants and loans in 1965.

The countries are also involved in a squabble over a group of rocky islets located midway between their shores.