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Japan-South Korea rift

Business leaders seek economic bridge over Japan-South Korea rift

Both sides eager for detente but progress difficult without political leadership

TOKYO -- Japanese and South Korean business leaders will face the nearly impossible task of finding a path to reconciliation when they meet this week as both governments remain entrenched in a bitter dispute that has eroded economic ties.

The Japan-Korea Economic Association will kick off its annual meeting Tuesday in Seoul, with roughly 200 participants from the South Korean side and about 100 from Japan attending. The gathering was initially scheduled for May but was postponed as bilateral relations soured over a South Korean Supreme Court ruling ordering Japanese companies to compensate Koreans forced to work for them during World War II.

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