TOKYO – Japan says it is sending back its ambassador to South Korea despite an ongoing impasse over a "comfort women" statue.
Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Ambassador Yasumasa Nagamine will fly back to Seoul on Tuesday, along with the consul-general in the South Korean city of Busan.
Kishida on Monday cited the need for Japan to study and develop ties with a new government succeeding ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye amid North Korea's missile threat.
Japan recalled the ambassador and the consul-general in January in response to the placing of the statue outside of Japan's consulate in Busan.
Before and during World War II, Japan forced many Korean and other women in Asia to work in brothels for the Japanese military in what was known as the "comfort women" system.