August 06, 2013 10:22
The Japanese Embassy in Seoul is having a hard time finding a temporary location while it demolishes the old building in Jongno and builds a new embassy there. Owners are reluctant to lease their offices to the embassy because of frequent protest rallies near the compound.
The Japanese Embassy has been in talks with the Jongno office since it received a conditional approval from the Cultural Heritage Administration last month to demolish the old five-storey building and build a new six-storey one.
Japan has long hoped to rebuild the 40-year-old structure, applying in July last year for the Korean government approval.
An estate agent in the district said, "Who would lease their offices to the Japanese Embassy at a time when protests are intensifying" due to inflammatory remarks by Japanese politicians and growing anti-Japanese sentiment here?
Another estate agent in Gwanghwamun said, "The embassy merely wants to lease temporary offices. It's not seeking a long-term lease. But if anti-Japanese sentiment gets worse, other tenants in the building would complain and threaten to leave."
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