Foreign ministers from Japan and South Korea are due to hold a rare meeting on the eve of the 50th anniversary since their countries normalized relations marred by Japan's colonization and World War II conquest.

Yet, the ties between the most important U.S. allies in Asia are so low that one hoped-for outcome of the meeting is an agreement for the countries' leaders to just show up at Monday's ceremonies in their respective capitals, instead of exchanging written statements.

According to a poll by Japanese newspaper Asahi and South Korea's Dong-a Ilbo, more than half of the respondents in both countries say their image of the other side has worsened in the past five years.

On Sunday, South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se is scheduled to meet his Japanese counterpart.