S. Korean FM calls for 'stable' relations with Japan

By Kim Deok-hyun

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei, July 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se called on Japan Monday to stop glorifying its militaristic past and nurture "stable" relations with Seoul.

Yun and his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida, held talks on the sidelines of an annual security forum hosted by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Brunei. It was their first meeting since September last year.

Seoul-Tokyo relations have come under fresh strain since April when Japanese ministers paid homage to a controversial war shrine in Tokyo that is seen by South Korea and other Asian countries as glorifying Japan's military past. In diplomatic protest, Yun canceled his planned visit to Japan.

"Our government's policy direction is based on principle and trust," Yun said in his opening remarks. "I expect the Japanese government and Japanese political leaders to understand our government's diplomatic philosophy and make efforts to develop the Korea-Japan relations in a stable manner."

The Yun-Kishida meeting was held shortly after trilateral talks here among Yun, Kishida and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

The U.S. has been working to help repair ties between South Korea and Japan with the aim of bolstering three-way coordination against North Korea's nuclear standoff.

Japan ruled the Korean Peninsula as a colony from 1910-45. Seoul-Tokyo ties have deteriorated recently over a series of controversial remarks and actions by Japanese leaders glossing over their country's colonial and wartime atrocities.

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