Japan urges South Korea to present solution over wartime labor row

30 Octobre, 2020, 03:59 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
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Kim Jung-han, director-general for Asia and Pacific affairs at the South Korean Foreign Ministry, and his Japanese counterpart, Shigeki Takizaki, met in Seoul Thursday morning.

Takizaki and Kim agreed that Japan and South Korea will continue communications regarding this matter.

South Korea and Japan resumed director-general-level dialogue to discuss pending bilateral issues, including the compensation of Korean forced labor victims and Japan's trade restrictions.

It said he also urged Tokyo to withdraw "unfair" export controls imposed on South Korea for materials used in the manufacture of semiconductors, a move seen as retaliation.

It was the first of such talks since Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga took office last month.

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Among other issues the two sides discussed were an annual trilateral summit with China and a diplomatic and trade dispute over the issue of South Koreans forced to work at Japanese companies during 1910-45 colonial rule, which has seriously strained ties between the two United States allies over the past year. Japan claims that all issues related to compensation were resolved in a 1965 treaty that normalized bilateral relations.

The Japanese government has said no decision has been made on the disposal of the water from the damaged plant.

The officials agreed that as the bilateral relationship is in a hard situation, exchanges at business and political levels are important, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said. He reiterated Japan's request South Korea should present a solution that will be mutually acceptable.

Under the agreement, travelers on short-term business trips will not be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival if they test negative for the novel coronavirus and submit travel itineraries, among other preventive measures.

Takizaki told Kim that such a liquidation could "lead to an extremely grave situation and must be avoided at all costs", according to Japan's foreign ministry. Takizaki, who doubles as Tokyo's chief nuclear envoy, held separate talks with Lee Do-hoon, Seoul's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, to discuss North Korean denuclearization. A massive quake and tsunami that struck on March 11, 2011, resulted in a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

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