Japanese PM Shinzo Abe has said he will attend the Winter Olympics in South Korea, ending speculation he would skip due to a spat over a 2015 "comfort women" deal. He has said he wants to "firmly" convey Tokyo's stance.
He later spoke with reporters at the prime minister's official residence, confirming his intention to attend the games. He noted, however, that he would like to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to discuss a 2015 reparations deal.
"I want to hold a summit meeting to firmly convey Japan's stance on the agreement over the 'comfort women' issue," Abe told reporters.
South Korea's presidential office said in a statement that they welcomed Abe's decision to attend the games.
Abe previously hinted that he might not attend the event to instead focus on passing a budget bill, a move that was interpreted as a possible slight to Seoul over the dispute.
Tensions over 'comfort women' deal
The issue over "comfort women" — South Korean women who were forced into sexual slavery for Japanese troops during World War II — has remained a sore subject for the neighboring countries.
The Japanese government feels that it has atoned enough for its actions during the war after having made several apologies and released numerous statements on the war.
The 2015 deal, which was struck by ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye's government with Japan's Abe, included a new apology from Japan in return for Seoul's promise not to raise the issue again.
The deal stated that the issue was resolved "finally and irreversibly." Japan also transferred 1 billion yen (currently $9 million; €7.4 million) to a foundation for the victims.
The Pyeongchang Olympics will run from February 9-25.