SEOUL, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- South Korea will begin to prepare for negotiations with Japan over retrieving its historical artifacts taken during Japan's colonial rule between 1910 and 1945, the Seoul-based Yonhap News Agency reported Monday, citing government sources.
The move comes a week after Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan's apology for "the enormous damage and suffering" inflicted during his country's occupation of the Korean Peninsula. He promised to return cultural relics seized during colonial rule, including the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) royal documents called "Uigwe."
"In order to secure the return of Uigwe, South Korea and Japan will need to reach an agreement, and we will begin negotiations for that," Yonhap quoted a government official as saying, adding " the foreign ministry and Cultural Heritage Administration will handle most of the preparations."
Jang Won-sam, director of the foreign ministry's Northeast Asian bureau, and Park Yung-keun, head of the administration's heritage promotion bureau, are reportedly scheduled to meet Tuesday regarding this issue, according to Yonhap.