Japan cancels port call in South Korea as relations with neighbor remain tense
TOKYO — Japan’s Defense Ministry announced Tuesday that it will cancel a port call in South Korea amid tense relations between the two countries.
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force ships, including the helicopter carrier JS Izumo, planned to anchor in Busan in April before participating in a multilateral exercise as part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Defense Ministers’ Meeting.
“It is important to participate in the maritime exercise … from the perspective of maintaining and enhancing the free and open Indo-Pacific,” ministry spokesman Hajime Aoyagi told reporters Tuesday.
However, he said the ministry decided it was appropriate to cancel the port visit when considering current Japan-South Korea relations.
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