ROK, Japan discuss restitution of cultural assets

Updated: 2011-02-17 16:09
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SEOUL - South Korean foreign minister Kim Sung-hwan met with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan and discussed Japan's pledged return of South Korean cultural property it plundered during its colonial rule decades ago, the foreign ministry here said on Thursday.

At the meeting on Wednesday, the two sides discussed fostering future-oriented bilateral ties and Kan's speech last August in which the prime minister offered a renewed apology for its 1910-45 occupation of the Korean peninsula.

Kan vowed progress in the progress in the planned restitution and called for an early resumption of negotiations over a two-way free trade deal, and Kim said efforts are being made to reopen the trade negotiations, according to the foreign ministry.

South Korea's top diplomat also met with key government figures and officials at Japan's ruling Democratic Party including the party's secretary general, Katsuya Okada.