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Aso, Park agree on building forward-looking relationship
Publication Date : 27-02-2013
Japan's Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and South Korea President Park Geun Hye have agreed that Tokyo and Seoul will closely cooperate "in a forward-looking manner", with North Korea's nuclear and missile development and other problems in mind.
Aso held talks with Park for about 25 minutes at the Blue House in Seoul on Monday after attending the inauguration ceremony of South Korea's first female president earlier in the day.
While conveying Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's congratulatory message, Aso told Park, "As Japan and South Korea are important neighbours sharing common values such as democracy and the rule of law, Japan would like to develop relations with South Korea."
Park did not directly mention the Takeshima islands' sovereignty issue or so-called comfort women.
However, the new South Korean president urged Japan to address historical issues, saying: "A correct understanding of history is essential for cooperation going forward. The current generation must cooperate for younger generations to move forward."
According to a source close to the South Korean presidential office, Park emphasised it is important for the two countries to build a relationship of mutual trust that reflects people's sentiments. Park was consistently cautious in commenting on the improvement of bilateral relations.