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    Japan dismisses information on ambitions for security alliance with Seoul

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    The Foreign Ministry of Japan on Monday dismissed information that its head Seiji Maehara in an interview with a South Korean paper has expressed hopes for security alliance with Seoul, the Japanese news agency Kyodo said.

    The Foreign Ministry of Japan on Monday dismissed information that its head Seiji Maehara in an interview with a South Korean paper has expressed hopes for security alliance with Seoul, the Japanese news agency Kyodo said.

    On Monday, Japanese media reported that Maehara has told a South Korean paper that Japan wants to establish an alliance with South Korea to ensure security in East Asia against a backdrop of possible provocations from North Korea.

    However, later in the day, the Japanese Foreign Ministry urged the South Korean paper to correct the article "as Maehara has said nothing about security alliance between Japan and South Korea."

    "Maehara has just said [in the interview] that ways to help Japan and South Korea create atmosphere for serious dialogue with North Korea, including dialogue on the security sphere, would be in the center of attention this year," the Japanese news agency said referring to the country's foreign ministry.

    The situation on the Korean Peninsula remains tense after Pyongyang shelled South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island in November, killing four people.

    In December, Seoul held large-scale military drills involving hundreds of military personnel and more than 100 types of weapons, including tanks, anti-tank missiles, helicopters and fighter jets. North Korea then warned its opponent of a possible "holy war" using its nuclear deterrent.

    TOKYO, January 3 (RIA Novosti)

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