Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday said Korea and Japan must sort out their differences.
Meeting with senior Korean journalists, Abe said, "There are difficult issues between Korea and Japan, but I believe communication is more important in times of trouble."
Abe has been pushing for a summit with President Park Geun-hye, but she has so far rebuffed his advances.
Chosun Ilbo editor-in-chief Song Hee-young was among 10 journalists who visited Abe in Tokyo on Thursday.
"The two countries respect freedom, democracy, human rights, and rule of law, and share mutual strategic national interests. Therefore the bilateral relationship between Korea and Japan must be further developed," Abe told them.