For the first time since South Korea's announcement of follow-up measures to the 2015 Seoul-Tokyo agreement on Japan's wartime sex slavery issue earlier this week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made remarks denouncing the decision.
"The 2015 Japan-South Korea agreement is a promise between two nations. Keeping this promise is an international and universal principle. We cannot accept South Korea's unilateral demands for additional measures."
He also said Tokyo has sincerely carried out the deal thoroughly, and that Seoul needs to do the same.
The South Korean government declared on Tuesday that the 2015 agreement was not a conclusive resolution to the issue of Japan's wartime atrocity, and although Seoul decided it will not seek to renegotiate the deal, it did call on Tokyo to offer a voluntary and sincere apology to the surviving victims.
Japan has strongly maintained that the 2015 deal was* an official apology, and that the issue has been settled by the landmark agreement.
The dispute is expected to carry on till next week, when the foreign ministers of both countries will meet in Vancouver, Canada, for a special international summit on the situation with North Korea.
Although a bilateral meeting has not been confirmed by either government, Tokyo's foreign minister, Taro Kono, has been quoted saying that a meeting definitely will take place.
Seoul's foreign ministry said that a trilateral meeting among South Korea, the U.S. and Japan is also being considered on the topic of North Korea and the latest inter-Korean talks.
A separate South Korea-U.S. meeting has been confirmed after Seoul's top diplomat Kang Kyung-wha, spoke with her U.S. counterpart, Rex Tillerson on the phone on Friday.
The two are said to have discussed Tuesday's high-level talks between the two Koreas, the first in two years. Tillerson described the development as encouraging while Kang thanked Washington for its efforts in pursuing denuclearization on the Korean peninsula, and for playing a role in supporting Tuesday's inter-Korean talks.
Kwon Jang-ho, Arirang News.