Moon Cancels Plan to Visit Japan for Olympics Opening

  • By Kim Ah-jin

    July 20, 2021 13:27

    President Moon Jae-in speaks in a meeting with government officials at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Monday. /Newsis

    President Moon Jae-in has canceled plans to go to Japan for the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics this Friday, abandoning hopes of a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

    Presidential secretary Park Soo-hyun said the decision came because preparatory talks were "not productive enough to hold a summit" despite earlier "meaningful consultations."

    But negotiators apparently failed to find common ground on thorny historical issues that divide the neighbors, including wartime sexual slavery and forced labor.

    The final straw may have been a recent remark by Hirohisa Soma, a senior official at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, who said Moon's overtures were tantamount to "masturbating" since Japan "does not have the time" to worry about Korea.

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