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The Nikkei View

Japan and South Korea need more dialogue -- and compromise -- soon

Diplomatic feud continues to poison business and cultural exchanges

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, and South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon greet the press before their talks in Tokyo on Oct. 24.   © Kyodo

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon agreed on the importance of dialogue when they met for the first time in a year. This shared view represents a major step forward as the countries confront their frosty relations, regarded as the worst since they normalized ties, and potentially offers a foothold toward mending the fence.

Abe said during the meeting in Tokyo on Oct. 24 that the countries first must honor their promises to each other. His comment came in response to the South Korean Supreme Court ordering Japanese companies to compensate those in the country who were forced to work for the businesses during World War II. Tokyo maintains that the wartime labor issue was settled by a treaty signed in 1965.

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