Fukui: The Fukui city government said on Wednesday, the Mayor and Assembly members of its South Korean sister city Suwon have canceled their visit to Japan, following a diplomatic spat after South Korea refused entry to three Japanese opposition lawmakers earlier this week.

The visitors including the chairman and two members of the Suwon city Assembly were slated to make a three-day visit to Fukui on the Sea of Japan from Thursday to participate in an event commemorating the 10th anniversary of the two sides' friendship city agreement.

But this morning, the South Korean side telephoned its intention to cancel the Mayor's trip, citing "the situation reported in the past few days," the Fukui city office said, but added that senior Suwon officials and a private group performing traditional arts will visit the Japanese city as scheduled.

Fukui Mayor Shinichi Higashimura expressed disappointment in a statement, saying, "It is regrettable because we were looking forward to (the visit) as a chance to deliver the bond we have cultivated to the next generation."

The move comes after three lawmakers of Japan's main opposition Liberal Democratic Party were forced to return home on Monday after being denied entry at Seoul's airport over
their plan to visit Ulleung Island, which serves as the administrative and military base for the South Korean-controlled islets called Dokdo in Korea and claimed by Japan as Takeshima.

(Agencies)