Abe, Moon Break Ice After Worst Japan-South Korea Fight in Years

Abe, Moon Break Ice After Worst Japan-South Korea Fight in Years(Bloomberg) — Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed in their first meeting in 14 months to ease tensions, according to the South Korean presidential office.Moon and Abe shared the view that the relationship between South Korea and Japan is important and re-affirmed in principle that issues between the two nations should be resolved via dialogue, the presidential office said in a text message. Abe conveyed Japan’s “basic stance” on bilateral issues in his exchange with Moon, the Tokyo-based Kyodo News agency said separately, citing the Japanese foreign ministry.The brief, 11-minute meeting at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Bangkok came as a long-simmering feud escalated into a trade-and-security dispute, leading to boycotts of Japanese imports and the decision to scrap an intelligence-sharing pact. The encounter followed a break-through meeting last month between Abe and South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon.Moon proposed high-level talks, if needed while Abe said every effort should be made to resolve the feud, Moon’s office said. Abe last met Moon in September 2018 and passed up a chance to meet him for formal talks during Group of 20 events in Osaka in June.The remarks were the most positive yet since South Korean courts issued a series of rulings last year backing the claims of Koreans forced to work for Japanese companies during the country’s 1910-45 occupation of the Korean Peninsula.Japan subsequently tightened restrictions on exports of key materials used by South Korean semi-conductor manufacturers. South Korea responded by moving to withdraw from a military intelligence-sharing pact with Japan.To contact the reporters on this story: Shinhye Kang in Seoul at skang24@bloomberg.net;Seyoon Kim in Seoul at skim7@bloomberg.net;Sophie Jackman in Tokyo at sjackman5@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Pae at ppae1@bloomberg.net, Brendan ScottFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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