World

UN chief: Japan, China, South Korea must reconcile over history to ensure peace and stability

  • U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon delivers a speech during a symposium of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations at the UN University in Tokyo, Monday, March 16, 2015. Ban attended last weekend the World Conference on Disaster Risk and Reduction in Sendai, northeastern Japan.  (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

    U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon delivers a speech during a symposium of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations at the UN University in Tokyo, Monday, March 16, 2015. Ban attended last weekend the World Conference on Disaster Risk and Reduction in Sendai, northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, left, shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after a symposium of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations at the UN University in Tokyo, Monday, March 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

    U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, left, shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after a symposium of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations at the UN University in Tokyo, Monday, March 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)  (The Associated Press)

  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers a speech during a symposium of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations at the UN University in Tokyo, Monday, March 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers a speech during a symposium of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations at the UN University in Tokyo, Monday, March 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)  (The Associated Press)

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has urged the leaders of Japan, China and South Korea to work harder for reconciliation over their wartime past to ensure peace and stability in the region.

In a speech Monday in Tokyo marking the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, Ban said the countries' lack of reconciliation is "a missing link" for peace and stability in northeast Asia despite the U.N.'s engagement.

Japan's relations with its closest neighbors, China and South Korea, have worsened in the past few years because of disputes over history and territorial issues, with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government seen as increasing efforts to revise the country's stance on World War II atrocities.

Ban was in Tokyo following his participation in an international disaster conference held in northern Japan.