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President Moon should address wartime forced labor issue: Japanese FM Updated: 2019-05-22 10:02:03 KST


At a briefing held Tuesday Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said Korea would not want to worsen bilateral relations with Japan and said President Moon Jae-in should do more to resolve the issues related to the compensation for Japan's wartime forced labor of Koreans.
Kono said he's been maintaining a restrained response as Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon was coming up with comprehensive measures on the issue but that after hearing Lee's response stating what Seoul can do is limited, Kono says the issue could no longer wait.
Earlier this week, Japan requested the dispute be settled through arbitration by a third party.
In their 1965 agreement, which normalized diplomatic ties, the two sides agreed to hold talks or an arbitration if there is an issue regarding the agreement.
But Seoul's foreign ministry has not yet given a clear answer to Japan's arbitration request which needs Seoul's consent.
Last year, Korea's Supreme Court ordered Japanese companies to compensate the Koreans forced into hard labor before and during World War Two.
But with the firms refusing to do so, the victims, earlier in the month, requested that the court force the sale of the companies' local assets.
The issue is expected to come up when Kono meets with Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha for the first time in three months on the sidelines of a ministerial meeting of the OECD set for Wednesday and Thursday in Paris.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.
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