S. Korean president's Japan visit set

June 22, 2009 at 12:47 AM
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TOKYO, June 22 (UPI) -- South Korean President Lee Myung-bak will visit Japan earlier than previously thought because of the North Korean situation, the government said Monday.

Lee, who is just back from his U.S. visit, will make a one-day stop Sunday in Tokyo to meet with Prime Minister Taro Aso, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura said Monday.

Lee previously had been scheduled to visit Japan next week, but that date has been pushed up because of reports North Korea may be preparing to test its long-range ballistic missile.

Kawamura told reporters the two leaders will discuss ways to cooperate on their responses to a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for tightened sanctions against North Korea for its nuclear and missile tests last month, Kyodo reported.

"As South Korea is one of our most important neighbors and shares basic values with Japan, it is necessary for us to cooperate to boost future-oriented and mature partnership through shuttle diplomacy," Kawamura said.

Lee and Aso last met in January.

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