Japan and South Korea affirm close contact over wartime labor issue

Japan and South Korea affirm close contact over wartime labor issue

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and his South Korean counterpart, Park Jin, agreed Saturday that the two nations will keep close communication at all diplomatic levels to resolve the wartime labor issue as soon as possible in order to improve soured bilateral relations.

The South Korean government last month announced a draft plan for a domestic foundation to pay compensation to South Korean plaintiffs in related lawsuits on behalf of Japanese companies. Seoul is discussing the plan with the plaintiffs.

Park explained the state of the discussions to Hayashi at their meeting in Munich.

Hayashi and Park exchanged views on what the Sough Korean side would like to see from Japan in response, such as the continuation of past apologies issued by the Japanese government over the issue.

According to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, Park told reporters after the meeting that he urged the Japanese side to make “a political decision” for a sincere response.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korea President Yoon Suk-yeol confirmed a policy of quickly resolving the wartime labor issue when they met in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh last November.

High-level diplomatic officials of Japan and South Korea have been holding talks more frequently in recent months. Vice Foreign Minister Takeo Mori and South Korean First Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun-dong held a meeting in Washington on Monday.

At the 35-minute meeting in Munich, Hayashi and Park strongly denounced North Korea’s ballistic missile launch on Saturday.

They reconfirmed that Japan, South Korea and the United States will work together to strengthen their deterrent capabilities through security cooperation.

The North Korean missile fell into waters within Japan’s exclusive economic zone off Hokkaido.

Hayashi and Park met in person for the first time since they held talks in New York last September.

Source : Japantimes