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Japan's government welcomes meeting of Abe with South Korean President

September 06, 2013, 11:24 UTC+3

The brief meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Leaders' Summit lasted for about 4 minutes

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Photo ITAR-TASS/Alexei Nikolsky

Photo ITAR-TASS/Alexei Nikolsky

TOKYO, September 6 (Itar-Tass) - The Japanese government has welcomed a brief meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President of South Korea Park Geun-hye on the sidelines of the Group of Twenty (G20) summit in St. Petersburg on Thursday. “It is important for our countries to continue dialogue at various levels,” Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said in Tokyo on Friday.

According to Suga, Shinzo Abe and Park Geun-hye had a brief conversation, which lasted about four minutes. However, the subject of the conversation was not disclosed.

It was the first personal meeting between the two leaders since Shinzo Abe took the post of Japan’s prime minister last December. There is some cooling at present in relations between the two countries because of the territorial dispute over the Takeshima (Dokdo) Islands, as well as due Japanese officials’ visits to Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine that have become more frequent of late. This Shinto shrine is regarded in Asia as a symbol of Japanese militarism, and its visiting by Japanese government officials has always evoked a negative response from the neighbours in the region who had suffered from Japanese invasion during the Second World War.

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