Japan denies reports of S. Korean president visit, summit during Olympics

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Japan on Tuesday denied a media report that South Korean President Moon Jae-In is arranging a visit to Japan timed with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, as well as talks with Japanese Prime Minister Suga.

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The relationship between Asian neighbors South Korea and Japan has soured in recent years due to disputes over trade and war-time history, most recently over lawsuits by South Korean victims of wartime forced labor seeking compensation from Japanese firms.

The Yomiuri daily on Tuesday reported that, in addition to a visit to Japan timed to the Olympics set to run from July 23 to Aug 8, South Korea’s Blue House is hoping Moon will hold his first ever talks with Japanese premier Yoshihide Suga during his stay. No sources were cited.

“There is no truth to that report,” chief cabinet secretary Katsunobu Kato told a news conference, declining to comment further.

A South Korean government official said: “We wish a successful Olympics but have no comment on whether President Moon will visit Tokyo.”

Friction between the two nations over a decades-long territorial row involving islets known as Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea flared anew recently after South Korea lodged a protest over a map on the Tokyo Olympics website marking the islands as Japanese territory.

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