South Korea's foreign ministry has expressed disappointment over a senior Japanese official's criticism of how President Moon Jae-in has addressed the wartime forced labor issue.
An official at Seoul's foreign ministry said on Friday that his comments are "deeply regrettable", and called for Tokyo to be more modest in facing history.
Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Masahisa Sato took to Twitter on Friday, criticizing President Moon for saying that the situation can't be helped because the government cannot intervene in a judicial process.
The same day at a press conference, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga accused President Moon of trying to shift South Korea's responsibility to Japan.
During his New Year's press conference on Thursday, President Moon said it is not wise for Tokyo to politicize the wartime labor issue and stir up controversy.
He also said South Korea must respect judicial decisions due to the separation of the legislative, administrative and judicial branches of the government.
He urged for more humility from Tokyo.
Tensions between the two countries have been escalating, ever since Seoul's Supreme Court ordered a Japanese steelmaker to compensate South Korean victims for their unpaid work during World War II.
And relations have become even sourer after a local court approved the plaintiffs' request to seize some of the firm's assets in the country.
Seoul is yet to respond to Tokyo's request for bilateral talks over the issue.
Park Hee-jun, Arirang News.