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Outgoing Japan envoy urges Seoul to act wisely over GSOMIA

Yasumasa Nagamine said he would request Seoul to act to avoid letting the pact lapse. (File/AFP)
Yasumasa Nagamine said he would request Seoul to act to avoid letting the pact lapse. (File/AFP)
21 Nov 2019 11:11:43 GMT9
21 Nov 2019 11:11:43 GMT9

Seoul

Outgoing Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Yasumasa Nagamine on Thursday called on Seoul to take a wise action over its military information-sharing pact with Tokyo.

At a press conference in Seoul, Nagamine, who is set to become Japan's new ambassador to Britain, said the bilateral General Security of Military Information Agreement, or GSOMIA, which is set to expire at midnight Friday (3 pm GMT), "plays an important role in the security environment of East Asia."

"I'd like to ask the South Korean government to make a wise response," he added, requesting Seoul to act to avoid letting the pact lapse. Seoul decided in August to scrap the pact.

"While Japan-South Korea ties are going through tough times, it's important for diplomatic authorities of both sides to communicate from the viewpoint of not leaving the situation as it is," he said.

He stressed the need to make efforts to promote wide-ranging exchanges between Japanese and South Korean people "especially at a time like this."

After taking up the post of ambassador to South Korea in August 2016, Nagamine signed the GSOMIA in November that year.

Nagamine was called back home in January 2017 in a show of Tokyo's protest against the installation of a statue of a girl symbolizing so-called comfort women in Busan, South Korea. The envoy resumed his service in Seoul in April the same year.

Comfort women, mainly Koreans, refer to those who were forced into prostitution for Japanese troops before and during World War II.

[Jiji Press]

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