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South Korea’s Moon extends olive branch to Tokyo over wartime history

Seoul: South Korean President Moon Jae-in offered talks with Japan to resolve a bitter feud over wartime grievances as the nation celebrated the 75th anniversary of its liberation from Japanese colonial rule at the end of World War II.

In a nationally televised speech, Moon said that his government has “left the door of consultations wide open” for Japan to settle a long legal and diplomatic dispute over compensation for Koreans who had been subjected to forced labor at mines, factories and other sites.

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, left, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, left, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.Credit:AP

Relations between America’s Asian allies sank to their lowest point in decades last year as they allowed their disagreements over wartime history to spill over into issues related to trade and military cooperation.

Moon, who tempered his words, avoided direct criticism of the conservative Japanese government of Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, which has insisted that all compensation issues were settled when the two countries normalised relations under a 1965 treaty.

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