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(LEAD) Japanese envoy recalled home over statue dispute to return to Seoul: official

All Headlines 15:35 April 03, 2017

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SEOUL, April 3 (Yonhap) -- Japan's top envoy to South Korea, who was recalled to Tokyo amid diplomatic friction over a girl statue symbolizing its wartime sexual slavery of Korean women, will return to Seoul this week, a foreign ministry official here said Monday.

The Japanese government recalled its Ambassador to South Korea Yasumasa Nagamine in January in protest over the statue that civic groups erected in front of its consulate in the southern port city of Busan.

"We are aware that the Japanese government has decided to send Ambassador Nagamine here tomorrow," the ministry official said on condition of anonymity. "We hope that his return to work will serve as a chance for both countries to better and more closely communicate with each other."

Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Yasumasa Nagamine arrives in Tokyo on Jan. 9, 2017. (Yonhap file photo)

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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