South Korean President Kim Dae Jung refused to meet a high-level Japanese delegation in a show of anger over Tokyo's refusal to revise controversial history textbooks.
In April, Japan approved a middle school book written by nationalist scholars who deny that Japan committed historically documented atrocities during World War II.
Seoul formally asked Tokyo to revise 35 passages that it believes gloss over atrocities committed by Japan from 1910 to 1945. But Japan's Education Ministry said Monday that it can revise only two passages because no "clear-cut errors" were found.
The delegation from Japan's three-party ruling coalition flew to Seoul on Sunday, hoping to meet Kim and seek his understanding about the textbook decision.