Olympics: Japan, S. Korea to cooperate on Games

TOKYO - Sporting chiefs in Japan and South Korea have agreed to put their countries' diplomatic differences aside and work together to make a success of Olympic Games being held in both nations.

Japanese Olympic Committee president Tsunekazu Takeda met his South Korean counterpart in Buenos Aires after Tokyo won the right to host the 2020 summer Games on Saturday, Jiji Press reported from Argentina.

The 2018 winter Games will take place in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang, 180 kilometres (110 miles) east of Seoul.

The two men agreed that officials from both nations would support each other, Takeda said, adding that he told Korean Olympic Committee chief Kim Jung-Haeng they should cooperate because "an Asian era will go on from Pyeongchang to Tokyo," Jiji reported.

"We are in a difficult time but we have maintained good relations in sports," he added.

Ties between the two countries are strained by the legacy of Japan's occupation of the Korean peninsula in the first half of the 20th century. They also disagree over the sovereignty of a pair of islets.

Tensions were heightened by last month's visit of Japanese ministers and politicians to a controversial shrine in Tokyo that honours Japan's war dead, including several war criminals.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who came to power in December, has not yet held a summit with South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, who took office in February.