TOKYO, March 5 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday in a Diet session that he is preparing to hold telephone talks with South Korean President Park Geun-hye to mend soured Japan-South Korean relations.
Abe said that he will take advantages of the launches of the new governments in the two countries to build "future-oriented" relations with South Korea.
In a meeting with Japan's former Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga on Monday, the prime minister also said he wants to improve Tokyo-Seoul relations that soured due to territorial dispute.
Both Japan and South Korea claim sovereignty over two islands, which are called as Dokdo in South Korea and Takeshima in Japan, in the Sea of Japan. The islets are controlled by South Korea.
Japan reiterated several times its willingness to mend ties with South Korea since Abe returned to power last December, but both sides seemingly adopted little tangible actions to mend ties and sparkled more verbal attacks.
Despite opposition of South Korea, Japan on Feb. 22 held the annual "Takeshima Day" to commemorate the disputed islets and the government sent Aiko Shimajiri, a parliamentary secretary with the Cabinet Office, to the event, marking the first occupant of one of the top three posts for lawmakers in a government ministry to attend the event.
The event triggered strong opposition in Seoul immediately as many South Koreans gathered in front of Japan's embassy in Seoul to protest against the event.
On March 1, Park urged the Japanese side to take "responsible" attitude towards history, referring to Japan's 1910-45 colonial occupation.
Park said "the historic dynamic of one party being perpetrator and the other party a victim will remain unchanged even after a thousand years have passed."
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