South Korean President Moon Jae In expressed disappointment that he will not visit Japan for the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics, a senior official of the presidential office said Tuesday.

The South Korean government had called for summit talks between Moon and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to resolve pressing bilateral matters as a condition for the president's visit to Japan.

South Korean President Moon Jae In attends a meeting at his office in Seoul on July 19, 2021. (Photo courtesy of South Korea's presidential office)(Kyodo)

Moon, however, is hopeful the summit talks with Suga will be held in the near future and instructed government officials to continue discussions with Japan, Park Soo Hyun, secretary for public communications at the presidential office, said during a radio program.

Park said the governments of the two countries have discussed Moon's visit and have made considerable progress, but they would not disclose any details.

The secretary for public communications also said he hopes the discussions will lead to a meeting of the foreign ministers of South Korea and Japan.

Regarding a senior Japanese diplomat's recent inappropriate remark about the presidential visit to Japan, Park said it was not the decisive reason for not realizing the visit but he added the South Korean government could not ignore the sentiment of the public over the remark.

Hirohisa Soma, deputy chief of mission at the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, reportedly told a South Korean reporter that Moon is in a tug-of-war only with himself over frayed ties between Japan and South Korea, using a sexually explicit expression.

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