June 26, 2019 10:12
President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will not meet one-on-one on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka on Thursday and Friday.
The U.S. State Department tried to get Seoul and Tokyo to mend frayed ties, but the two leaders could not even agree to an informal "pull-aside" on the sidelines. The Korean and Japanese governments blamed busy schedules and each other.
A high-ranking Cheong Wa Dae official told reporters, "We are ready to meet, but Japan does not appear to be ready." Abe said Saturday that his schedule for bilateral meetings is "full."
"Japan did not propose to hold a summit," the official said. "There was no response from Japan."
Instead, Korea and Japan have been holding informal talks to resolve disputes, including the issue of compensating Koreans who were forced to labor in Japanese factories during World War II. But Japan has not been forthcoming, and government officials here suspect that Abe is using anti-Korean sentiment to win votes in parliamentary elections next month.
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