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Japan PM calls for 'frank' talks with China, South Korea

Tokyo (AFP) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called Sunday for "frank" summit talks with China and South Korea to help solve historical and territorial disputes that have soured ties between the neighbours.

A year of heated arguments have prevented the three from holding any top-level meetings, with Beijing and Seoul accusing Abe of showing a lack of remorse for World War II wrongs.

"We should hold a summit meeting and have a frank discussion," Abe said in an interview on public broadcaster NHK, two days after Japan's foreign minister called for similar talks.

Abe, China's President Xi Jinping and South Korean President Park Geun-Hye all came to power around a year ago, but entrenched positions and growing nationalism in the three countries have prevented them from getting together.

Seoul and Beijing were angered by Abe's visit last month to a shrine in Tokyo that counts 14 senior war criminals among the 2.5 million souls it commemorates.

China and South Korea see the Yasukuni shrine as a symbol of Japan's wartime aggression in Asia.

On Sunday, Abe reiterated he had visited to make a pledge against war, and like other leaders around the world to pray for those who lost their lives for their countries.

"I want people to think about whether this is wrong. If they think about it, I think the misunderstanding will go away," he said.

Two separate territorial disputes over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, which Beijing and Seoul say have their roots in Japan's early imperial ambitions, have also roiled relations.

Abe said a summit should be held "all the more because there are these issues" but added that Tokyo would not agree to any concessions over disputed issues as a precursor to discussions.

"It would be unreasonable if Japan must clear hurdles for summit talks," he said.

On Friday, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said the respective leaders should "make efforts to solve" their disputes.

The call came after Japan brushed off comments by China's envoy to the African Union in which he branded Abe a "troublemaker".

1 Comment
January 19, 2014    carltanong@
It's easy for Abe to talk and reconcile with China and South Korea........
_Those Class A-B-C high profile war criminals should be thrown out to the TRASH.
_Abe and the living Emperor of Japan should personally apologize to China, South Korea and the whole Asian the atrocities committed by the fanatics Japanese imperial military.
_Abe and the Japanese government, politicians and historian should be FRANK about the History of atrocities committed by the Japanese Emperor Hirohito, Japanese fanatics imperial military and her History shall NOT REVISED it.

Abe be FRANK. HISTORY is HISTORY.....
Abe be FRANK.. Property of others country should NOT be ROB......and DISTURB.
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Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, second from left, and his Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers shout traditional "Banzai (long life)" cheers during the annual party convention at a hotel in Tokyo, Sunday, Jan. 19.

(AP)

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