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International relations

Kishida speaks with Yoon as Japan-South Korea ties remain chilly

Both sides agree to hold face-to-face meeting as early as possible

A statue symbolizing former South Korean "comfort women" is seen during an anti-Japan rally in Seoul.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida held a 15-minute phone call with South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol on Friday, as Tokyo gauges the incoming conservative political newcomer's views on historical grievances that have darkened bilateral relations for decades.

They agreed to work together to improve ties that have fallen to a historic low, agreeing to hold a face-to-face meeting as early as possible.

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