11/12/2012, 00.00
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Dokdo / Takeshima, Tokyo and Seoul open to negotiations

After the surprise visit of Lee Myung-bak to the disputed islands, which had infuriated the Japanese, a bilateral summit with Prime Minister Noda planned for ASEAN meeting in Phnom Penh.

Tokyo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The governments of Japan and South Korea have agreed to a formal meeting by the end of November, which aims to "pacify" the diplomatic situation over a group of disputed islands, which Tokyo calls "Takeshima" and Seoul "Dokdo". Last August, the conservative Korean President Lee Myung-bak made a surprise visit to the islands - claimed by both nations - which infuriated the Land of the Rising Sun.

Lee's act took on a broader meaning since the President landed a few days before August 15, the day on which Japan remembers its defeat in World War II and Korea the end of Japanese domination. As in the case of the Diaoyu / Senkaku, the other disputed archipelago (but with China), the real value of these islands is unknown. However, from a political point of view, they have enormous importance.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and President Lee already met on the margins of the APEC summit in September, but from a formal stance there its still stalemate. Now, both authorities have confirmed a bilateral meeting on November 18, on the sidelines of the Asean Summit in Phnom Penh.


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