Japan, South Korea agree to boost economic cooperation

Leaders of South Korea and Japan met Monday for a summit as the often-tense neighbors focused on how to cooperate to ease the effects of the global economic meltdown. Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso arrived in Seoul on Sunday for talks with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak as part of periodic summits between the two neighbors, whose ties have often been strained since Japan's 1910-1945 colonial rule of Korea. But history was expected to take a backseat at Monday's meeting. Since taking office 11 months ago, Lee has said he would not demand any new apology from Japan for its colonial rule and has pushed for improved ties with Tokyo, holding five summits with Japanese leaders. The two leaders also were expected to reiterate their commitments to rid North Korea of nuclear programs, officials said.