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Japan’s Abe meets South Korean premier amid row over trade, history

/ 01:30 PM October 24, 2019

TOKYO – Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has held talks with South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon in the first high-level meeting since relations nosedived over a trade and history row.

abe shinzp, meet /chinese premie

South Korea’s Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, left, shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prior to their meeting at Abe’s official residence in Tokyo, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. Abe held talks with Lee in a first high-level meeting amid tension between the two neighbors over trade and wartime history. Lee, known as Japan expert, attended Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement ceremony Tuesday and was expected to propose improving ties. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Lee handed Abe a letter from South Korean President Moon Jae-in at Thursday’s talks. 

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Lee, known as a Japan expert, attended Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement ceremony Tuesday and was expected to propose improving ties.

The meeting is closely monitored for signs of a thaw between the two countries. 

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Their relations worsened when Japan in July tightened export controls on key high-tech materials used by South Korean manufacturers. 

Seoul called it retaliation for its courts ordering Japanese companies to compensate Korean laborers for abusing them during Japan’s 1910-1945 colonization.

Japan maintains all compensation issues were settled under the 1965 bilateral treaty. /gsg

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TAGS: Abe Shinzo, Japan, South korea, Trade
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