Korea has requested a last-minute postponement of the signing of an unprecedented agreement with Japan allowing the sharing of classified military data. The delay was caused by political sensitivities in Korea.
The pact to exchange military intelligence would be the first between Seoul and Tokyo since Japan's occupation of Korea. The two neighbors, long wary of each other, share increasing defense concerns about North Korea and China.
The signing by Japan's foreign minister and Korea's ambassador had been expected to take place in Tokyo Friday afternoon. But shortly before pens were to be put to paper, came word that Seoul had requested a delay so the agreement could be explained to worried governing party and angry opposition members of the National Assembly.
The politicians object to what they term "a lack of transparency" this week by the Korean government in approving the pact, as well as lingering but strong anti-Japanese sentiment among citizens.
Korean civic groups and opposition politicians have denounced the military agreement, with some alleging it gives Japan a de facto pardon for its wartime atrocities.