Seoul, May 3 (Jiji Press)–Moon Hee-sang, speaker of South Korea’s National Assembly, has set up a new group of lawmakers in order to beef up interchanges with Japanese lawmakers, the office of the assembly’s press secretary announced on Friday.
Suh Chung-won, an independent lawmaker and former head of an existing association of South Korean assembly members for promoting relations with Japan, was named head of the new group.
South Korean lawmakers, including Suh and Kang Chang-il, current head of the existing association, will visit Japan in mid-May.
They will hold talks with senior lawmakers of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party to seek ways to improve the deteriorating bilateral relations, according to sources close to them.
Earlier this year, Moon called on Japan’s Emperor to offer an apology to former South Korean comfort women, who were allegedly forced to provide sex to Japanese troops before and during World War II. The Japanese government has been urging Moon to withdraw the remark and apologize.
Under the circumstances, Moon will not visit Japan this time, according to the sources.
The relationship between the two Asian neighbors has soured also in the wake of a series of rulings by South Korean courts, including the supreme court, that ordered Japanese companies to pay compensation to South Koreans requisitioned to work for the firms during the war.
Meanwhile, Nam Gwan-pyo, former second deputy chief of the National Security Office at the South Korean presidential office, was formally named new ambassador to Japan on Friday.