SINGAPORE--Tokyo and Seoul stuck to their versions of an incident between a South Korean destroyer and Maritime Self-Defense Force aircraft, with each side blaming the other for creating a dangerous situation at sea.

The talks in Singapore on Jan. 14 between defense officials of the two countries were the second concerning the incident, but like their teleconference last month, the discussions ended without an agreement.

“The recognition gap (between the two nations) has not been solved yet,” an official of Japan’s Defense Ministry said.

Japan has said the South Korean destroyer locked its fire-control radar on the MSDF P-1 patrol aircraft over the Sea of Japan off the Noto Peninsula on Dec. 20.

South Korea, however, has denied this occurred and is demanding an apology for what it described as the patrol aircraft’s low flight over the destroyer.

Takeshi Ishikawa, deputy director-general of the ministry’s Defense Policy Bureau, and Lee Won-ik, international policy official in South Korea’s defense ministry, were among the attendees at the talks in Singapore.

According to Japan’s Defense Ministry, both sides expressed various arguments intermittently from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya told reporters on Jan. 15 that Japan wanted to present to South Korea voice and radio wave data collected by the patrol aircraft that showed the destroyer had locked its fire-control radar on the P-1.

But the South Korean side declined to receive the data, Iwaya said.

In a statement released after the talks, South Korea’s defense ministry said: “Both countries’ officials provided details of the facts and explained their stances concerning the main points of dispute, such as the low flight. This deepened an understanding of the arguments of each side.”

The discussions were held in Singapore to provide a “neutral” venue. The first half of the talks took place at the South Korean Embassy, while the second half was held at the Japanese Embassy.

The incident has marred relations that were already strained by issues concerning history. Both sides have shown no signs of backing down.

According to an opinion poll taken by South Korean TV broadcaster YTN, 38 percent of South Koreans said their government’s “current measures are appropriate” in dealing with the radar incident and a lawsuit that awarded Japanese compensation to Korean wartime laborers.

However, 46 percent of respondents want the Seoul to take “stricter measures,” according to the survey results released on Jan. 14.

(This article was written by Shinichi Fujiwara, Hajimu Takeda in Seoul and Mayumi Mori in Singapore.)