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China, Japan,South Korea set up cultural ties despite rows



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The culture ministers of South Korea, Japan and China agreed on Friday to step up cultural, sports and people-to-people exchanges despite recent tensions over trade and their shared history.

Their meeting in the South Korean port of Incheon comes amid an escalating trade and diplomatic spat between Japan and South Korea, and an intensifying regional rivalry with a rising China.

The three countries promote cultural exchanges but differing views on their shared history, such as the legacy of the Japan’s occupation of Korea and parts of China, have often hampered those efforts.

The ministers – Park Yang-woo of South Korea, Masahiko Shibayama of Japan and Luo Shugang of China – promised more cultural, sport and people-to-people exchanges over the next 10 years. During that time Japan will host the 2020 Summer Olympics and the 2022 Winter Olympics will held in Beijing.

“The three countries made it clear that future cultural exchanges and cooperation should be conducted based on the principles of mutual respect and reciprocity and in a way that promotes cultural diversity and peace in East Asia,” the ministers said in a joint statement.

Park and Shibayama shared a cordial handshake alongside Luo as they signed agreements aimed at expanding trilateral cultural programs, in contrast to the frosty exchanges between the two countries’ foreign ministers recently.

The two culture ministers held separate talks on Thursday where they agreed to continue cultural cooperation despite the political and economic feud, South Korea’s culture ministry said in a statement.

Shibayama said more civilian exchanges were needed to mend ties, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported.

“Japan-South Korea relations are in a tough spot and deepening exchanges at the grass-roots level through cooperation in the cultural field will help improve relations,” Shibayama told reporters after the three-way meeting.

Relations between the two countries worsened late last year after South Korea’s Supreme Court ordered compensation for some Koreans forced to work at Japanese firms during Japan’s 1910-45 occupation.

Japan remove South Korea’s fast-track export status this month, which prompted Seoul to drop Tokyo from its own list and end a bilateral intelligence-sharing accord.

The row has taken a toll on tourist exchanges, with South Koreans cancelling travel plans as part of a boycott of Japanese products and services. The number of South Korean visitors to Japan fell last month to its lowest in nearly a year, Japan’s tourism agency said last week.

Park, who also oversees tourism, is expected to meet Japan’s tourism minister, ‎Keiichi Ishii‎, later on Friday ahead of a tripartite gathering with Luo.

A dozen South Korean activists protested outside the meeting venue, calling on Japan to compensate Koreans forced to work for Japanese firms during its occupation of the Korean peninsula from 1910 to 1945, and the use of “comfort women” in its wartime brothels.

“Japan should apologize and compensate the victims of forced labor and comfort women if it wants to host the Olympics and pursue forward-looking relations with Korea,” the group said.

Reminders of Japan’s occupation are inflammatory for both sides, including the issue of “comfort women”, a euphemism referring to women, many of them Korean, forced into the wartime military brothels.


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24 Hours Across Africa

Fans Heart-broken as U.S rapper Juice Wrld dies at 21



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US rapper Juice Wrld has died at the age of 21, authorities say.

The musician’s death, first reported by celebrity news website TMZ, has been confirmed by medical authorities in Illinois.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office said he died on Sunday. The cause of death is not yet known, the office said.

The rapper, real name Jarad Anthony Higgins, was best-known for his viral 2018 hit Lucid Dreams.

Higgins, according to TMZ, died after suffering a seizure at Chicago’s Midway airport Sunday morning.

Chicago police told the BBC a 21-year-old man suffered a medical emergency at around 02:00 (08:00 GMT) local time and was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police have launched an investigation into the death.

The rapper rose to fame in 2018, when hit singles All Girls Are the Same and Lucid Dreams, which peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, drew the attention of music fans and record labels.

In early 2018, he was signed by Interscope Records, landing a record deal reported to be worth more than $3m (£2.2m).

He topped the Billboard chart this year with his second album Death Race for Love.

In one of his songs, Juice Wrld rapped about the short lives of artists, saying “all the legends seem to die out”.

Tributes to the rapper have been pouring in on social media, with many writing “RIP Juice Wrld” to pay their respects.

In a tweet, British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding, who collaborated with Juice Wrld on her 2019 single Hate Me, described the rapper as “such a sweet soul” who had “so much further to go”.

Hip hop artist HaHa Davis wrote on Twitter: “Heartbroken @JuiceWorlddd I love you bro.”

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24 Hours Across Africa

God’s General Reinhard Bonnke dies at 79



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Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke was a German Pentecostal missionary, widely know in africa through his open air evangelism has died.

Bonnke has been an evangelist and missionary in Africa since 1967. Bonnke has overseen 75 million recorded conversions to Christ.

Bonnke preached the gospel in the mid age across the globe proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.

he has preached the glorious Gospel of Jesus throughout the entire world.

We want to thank you on behalf of him and our family, for your kind love and unwavering support, which enabled him to preach the matchless message of salvation to countless people.

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