Abe Wants to Meet Moon Just Before Pyeongchang Olympics

  • By Kim Soo-hye

    January 29, 2018 12:03

    Shinzo Abe /Reuters-Yonhap

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to meet with President Moon Jae-in on the opening day of the Winter Olympics in Pyeonchang, Japanese media reported Friday.

    Korean and Japanese diplomatic sources said Seoul and Tokyo are talking about scheduling the summit just before the opening ceremony. Cheong Wa Dae did not deny the report.

    Abe is expected to lobby Moon to honor a deeply unpopular 2015 deal compensating Korean wartime sex slaves, which lets Tokyo off without admitting full responsibility. Korea has admitted that the deal is legal and will not ask for a renegotiation, but a Foreign Ministry review last month found it "seriously flawed."

    It will be the third time the two leaders meet face to face.

    Seoul invited Abe last July to the opening ceremony of the Olympics, but Abe has been biding his time.

    He said in an interview with the Sankei Shimbun last week that he intends to support Japanese athletes in Pyeongchang and also deliver his position on the sex slaves deal. He apparently chose the conservative daily to announce his decision at the last minute in order to appease his support base. Most right-wingers in Japan do not want him to go at all.

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