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Japan, South Korea Foreign Ministers Discuss Strained Relations

The foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea have discussed their strained relations in a meeting on the sidelines of an Asian summit in Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur.

During talks Saturday, Seoul's Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon told his Japanese counterpart, Taro Aso, that visits by Japan's prime minister to a controversial war shrine are disrupting bilateral relations.

The shrine honors Japan's war dead, including convicted war criminals. Critics, including South Korea and China, say the shrine glorifies Japan's wartime past. But Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi says he visits the shrine to pray for peace.

Thursday, China ruled out holding a meeting with senior leaders from Japan and South Korea during the regional summit, which officially begins Monday. The three nations have met on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit for the past six years.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.