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S. Koreans want Park-Abe summit: poll

All Headlines 11:00 June 19, 2015

SEOUL, June 19 (Yonhap) -- A majority of South Koreans hope President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will hold summit talks, an opinion poll showed Friday.

They also think history issues, including Japan's wartime sexual enslavement of Korean women, should be the main topics if the leaders meet, according to the results of the survey by Research & Research.

It conducted the poll of 1,000 adults nationwide on June 5-6 and June 9-10, commissioned by the Asan Institute for Policy Studies. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

Asked if Park should hold a summit with Abe even if he does not offer a clear apology for Japan's past atrocities in his upcoming August speech, 56. 3 percent said yes while 38.5 percent opposed it.

Abe plans to reveal the vision of his country around Aug. 15, the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. Keen attention is being paid to whether he will apologize for Japan's militaristic past.

As to the most important summit agenda, 37.5 percent cited history and the "comfort women" issue and 26. 7 percent picked Japan's claim to South Korea's Dokdo islets in the East Sea. The others said either improving bilateral ties or handling the North Korean nuclear issue is more urgent.

Park and Abe have never held formal bilateral talks since they took office amid Seoul-Tokyo standoffs over their shared history.

Both leaders face growing pressure to improve their countries' relationship as they mark the 50th anniversary next week of the establishment of their diplomatic ties.


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