Asia

Japan envoy recalled over statue flap to return to S. Korea

  • FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2017 file photo, Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Yasumasa Nagamine, center, leaves the Foreign Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, after being summoned by South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se after Japan announced it would recall Nagamine and suspend economic talks in response to the placing of a "comfort woman" statue representing wartime sex slaves in front of its consulate in the Korean port city of Busan. Japan says it is sending back Nagamine despite an ongoing impasse over a "comfort women" statue. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday, April 3, Nagamine will fly back to Seoul on Tuesday along with the consul-general in Busan. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

    FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2017 file photo, Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Yasumasa Nagamine, center, leaves the Foreign Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, after being summoned by South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se after Japan announced it would recall Nagamine and suspend economic talks in response to the placing of a "comfort woman" statue representing wartime sex slaves in front of its consulate in the Korean port city of Busan. Japan says it is sending back Nagamine despite an ongoing impasse over a "comfort women" statue. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday, April 3, Nagamine will fly back to Seoul on Tuesday along with the consul-general in Busan. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2017 file photo, Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Yasumasa Nagamine, center, leaves the Foreign Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, after being summoned by South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se after Japan announced it would recall Nagamine and suspend economic talks in response to the placing of a "comfort woman" statue representing wartime sex slaves in front of its consulate in the Korean port city of Busan. Japan says it is sending back Nagamine despite an ongoing impasse over a "comfort women" statue. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday, April 3, Nagamine will fly back to Seoul on Tuesday along with the consul-general in Busan. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

    FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2017 file photo, Japanese Ambassador to South Korea Yasumasa Nagamine, center, leaves the Foreign Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, after being summoned by South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se after Japan announced it would recall Nagamine and suspend economic talks in response to the placing of a "comfort woman" statue representing wartime sex slaves in front of its consulate in the Korean port city of Busan. Japan says it is sending back Nagamine despite an ongoing impasse over a "comfort women" statue. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday, April 3, Nagamine will fly back to Seoul on Tuesday along with the consul-general in Busan. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Jan. 11, 2017, file photo, students gather near a "comfort-woman" statue during a rally in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, South Korea. Japan said Monday, April 3 that it is returning its recalled ambassador to South Korea despite a continuing impasse over the “comfort woman” statue, but insisted it is not caving in to Seoul’s position. Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida announced that Ambassador Yasumasa Nagamine will fly back to Seoul on Tuesday, along with the Japanese consul-general in the South Korean city of Busan. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File)

    FILE - In this Jan. 11, 2017, file photo, students gather near a "comfort-woman" statue during a rally in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, South Korea. Japan said Monday, April 3 that it is returning its recalled ambassador to South Korea despite a continuing impasse over the “comfort woman” statue, but insisted it is not caving in to Seoul’s position. Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida announced that Ambassador Yasumasa Nagamine will fly back to Seoul on Tuesday, along with the Japanese consul-general in the South Korean city of Busan. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File)  (The Associated Press)

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.