WASHINGTON (AP) - A high-level U.S. delegation will urge key allies Japan and South Korea to mend strained ties that have hurt U.S.-backed efforts for them to cooperate on regional security.
Senior officials from the State Department, Pentagon and White House will travel to Seoul and Tokyo next week after recent elections in both countries.
Japan-South Korea relations have also been strained by disputes over islands and Japan's colonial past. Also, tensions are rising between Japan and China. Media reports suggest Japan's new government may take a tougher line on what it considers repeated Chinese incursions into its territorial waters.
Top U.S. diplomat for East Asia, Kurt Campbell, said Thursday the U.S. will urge caution in such maritime disputes, and seek to ensure Tokyo and Seoul are committed to rebuilding their relationship.
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