Japan Cancels Izumo's Port Call In Busan

Japan cancels Izumo's port call in Busan

Japan's Defense Ministry has canceled a port call of a Self-Defense Forces vessel in Busan, South Korea, amid soured relations.

The ministry says it notified the South Korean side of the decision on Tuesday.

It had planned to send the destroyer Izumo in late April to the port during joint exercises among some Asian and Pacific nations scheduled in waters around South Korea to Singapore.

But officials say the current environment is not fit for deepening exchanges. They say Japan will take part in the drills themselves.

Relations between Japan's Self-Defense Forces and the South Korean military have been strained. South Korea's defense ministry denies that one of its vessels directed a fire-control radar at a Japanese patrol plane. Separately, it claims Japanese SDF aircraft conducted provocative flights against its ships -- an allegation the Japanese side denies. The South Korean side has demand the SDF apologize.

The Japanese Defense Ministry plans to refrain from exchanges with South Korea until the South Korean public opinion and other factors become favorable.