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Japan-South Korea rift

South Korean tourists shun Japan as neighbors grit teeth

Foreign ministers fail to inch closer at Beijing meeting

Tourists walk in Sensoji temple, a popular destination in Tokyo's Asakusa district. The number of visitors from South Korea dropped to the lowest in 10 months in July. (Photo by Akira Kodaka) 

TOKYO/BEIJING -- The escalating row between Japan and South Korea over wartime labor issues and export controls has sunk the bilateral relations to perhaps its worst since the end of World War II. The foreign ministers meeting on Thursday in Beijing did little to advance any talks on either issue.

The rift is making a dent in tourism -- an increasingly important sector of the Japanese economy -- as well as calling the future of a key security agreement into question.

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