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DATE=8/18/2000
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
TITLE=JAPAN NORTH KOREA / SCENE SETTER (L-O)
NUMBER=2-265617
BYLINE=ALISHA RYU
DATELINE=HONG KONG
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:
INTRO:  The Tokyo government and Japanese media are 
giving conflicting reports of what concessions, if 
any, Japan will make to North Korea when the two sides 
meet next week for the second round of talks to 
normalize diplomatic relations.  VOA's Alisha Ryu 
reports from our Asia News Center. 
TEXT:  Several Japanese media, citing sources at the 
foreign ministry, say that the Tokyo will inform North 
Korea of its decision to form two working panels to 
investigate North Korean claims that Japan seized or 
destroyed numerous Korean cultural assets during its 
colonial occupation of the Korean peninsula.  The 
Japan Times English-language newspaper reports that as 
part of the agreement, the panels will investigate how 
Japanese museums across the country obtained Korean 
art works.  
North Korea has demanded that Japan resolve issues 
stemming from Japan's colonial rule of the Korean 
peninsula from 1910 to 1945.  Pyongyang has repeatedly 
called for a package of concessions from Japan, 
including a written apology, monetary compensation, 
and an assurance of permanent residence status for 
North Koreans.
Japanese media say Tokyo will most likely concede on 
the residency issue and will agree to grant North 
Koreans permanent residency.
But a spokesman for Japan's foreign ministry told VOA 
that the government has not made any decisions ahead 
of the talks.  He says what the Japanese media are 
reporting is pure speculation and not fact.
Japan and North Korea's first attempt to establish 
diplomatic ties collapsed in 1992.  Talks resumed 
again in April of this year but a second round of 
negotiations, set for late May, was postponed at the 
request of North Korea. (Signed)
NEB/HK/AR/JO/KL 
18-Aug-2000 08:21 AM EDT (18-Aug-2000 1221 UTC)
NNNN
Source: Voice of America
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