TOKYO -- Japan and South Korea will postpone financial talks planned for this year in light of political tensions, looking to reschedule if other international talks go well.
This country was to host the bilateral financial dialogue in 2017, bringing together finance ministers as well as tax, budget and international finance officials from both sides to discuss economic and financial challenges. But bilateral relations hit a rough patch after a statue commemorating wartime "comfort women" was installed outside the Japanese Consulate in Busan in December 2016, and tensions over the issue persist.
Japan in January called off working-level talks on a currency swap arrangement over the statue. But resuming those talks is not particularly urgent, according to an expert in international finance. South Korea renewed a currency swap agreement with China in October for another three years, and despite tensions in the region over North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons development, there is no sign of an impending plunge in the won that would require emergency dollar funding.
The two sides look to reschedule the meeting based on how other talks proceed, including a summit that Japan hopes to host soon with the leaders of China and South Korea.