South Korean President Park Geun-hye has tapped a former four-term lawmaker with close ties to Japan as her new top envoy to Tokyo, officials said Tuesday.
Yoo Heung-soo, the head of the Korea-Japan Friendship Association, was chosen for his wide network of personal relationships with members of the Japanese government and public, which is expected to help mend frayed ties between Seoul and Tokyo, the officials said.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as Yoo's appointment is subject to formal approval, known as an agrement, from the Japanese government.
The 76-year-old Yoo has served as chief of the national police agency, governor of South Chungcheong Province and four terms as a lawmaker of predecessors of the current ruling Saenuri Party, among other posts.
From 2000-2004, he served as a leader of an association of South Korean and Japanese lawmakers.
Yoo's nomination comes after former Ambassador Lee Byung-kee was named director of the National Intelligence Service in early June. (Yonhap)