Japan lawmaker Nukaga met top sec'y to S. Korean pres. Fri. in Seoul
SEOUL (Kyodo) -- Former Japanese Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga, a veteran legislator of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, held talks last week with a high-ranking official at the South Korean president's office in Seoul, South Korean government sources said Monday.
Nukaga, who heads the Japan-South Korea parliamentarians' league, met with Park Jun U, the top secretary at the president's office on Friday, the sources said.
Nukaga is believed to have held a discussion with the South Korean official over how to improve bilateral ties, which have soured over territorial dispute and perception in wartime history, and to look at the prospect of summit talks between Abe and South Korean President Park Geun Hye.
Secretary Park, former chief of the policy and legal affairs division at the Embassy of South Korea in Japan and the Northeast Asian division at the Foreign Ministry, told the Chosun Ilbo, a major South Korean newspaper, that he met Nukaga, with whom he has ties, but they never discussed possible summit talks.
According to the sources, Nukaga asked for a meeting with a high-ranking official at the president's office, and senior officials at the South Korean counterpart of the lawmakers' league set up the meeting with the secretary.
Nukaga was in Seoul as a member of a Japanese delegation visiting the South Korean capital for a meeting between senior officials of the two leagues, but he did not attend that meeting.
The two countries are locked in an ownership dispute over the islets in the Sea of Japan called Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea.
On Wednesday, Abe had a "social chat" with South Korean President Park at a dinner of the East Asia Summit in Brunei but summit talks between the two have not taken place since Park's inauguration in February.
October 14, 2013(Mainichi Japan)