Japan PM Kishida to visit South Korea, meet Yoon on Sunday

FILE PHOTO: South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida meet in Tokyo
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By David Dolan and Hyunsu Yim

TOKYO/SEOUL (Reuters) -Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will visit South Korea on May 7-8 for talks with President Yoon Suk Yeol, the governments of the two nations said on Tuesday.

Kishida will meet Yoon in Seoul on Sunday, Japan's foreign ministry said. Kishida's wife, Yuko, will also make the trip, according to South Korea's presidential office.

Earlier, Kishida told reporters in Ghana, during his Africa tour, that the visit to Seoul would be an opportunity for a "frank exchange on the acceleration of ties" between the two countries.

The visit would come ahead of the Group of Seven (G7) leaders summit in Hiroshima this month and follows a meeting between the two leaders in Tokyo in March. The two sides agreed to revive shuttle diplomacy during Yoon's visit, the first to Japan by a South Korean president in 12 years.

Ties between the two U.S. allies, which have long been strained by disagreement over their shared wartime past, have improved in recent months in the face of North Korea's frequent missile launches and China's more muscular role on the global stage.

On Tuesday, their finance ministers held their first bilateral talks in seven years on the sidelines of the Asian Development Bank meeting in Incheon as they confront shared challenges also from slowing economic growth.

(Reporting by David Dolan and Hyunsu Yim; Additional reporting by Kantaro Komiya; Editing by Chris Reese, Sonali Paul and Chang-Ran Kim)