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Tokyo urges Seoul to respond to arbitration request by Thursday midnight Updated: 2019-07-18 13:35:07 KST

Japan has strongly urged the South Korean government to respond by today to its proposal of having a third party arbitrate the issue that caused their trade dispute -- that is, compensation for the Korean victims of Japan's wartime use of forced labor.
Japan's Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasutoshi Nishimura said in a briefing on Thursday that the Japanese government will wait for a response until 12 o-clock midnight tonight that's less than eight hours from now.
He said the South Korean government has a responsibility to answer Tokyo's request for arbitration according to a 1965 bilateral agreement, which Tokyo argues stipulates how to settle the wartime forced labor issue.
Nishimura declined to comment, however, on how Tokyo will respond if Seoul does not meet the deadline.
As for whether Seoul will respond or has already responded, the South Korean foreign ministry said Thursday that it does not need to conform to Japan's unilateral deadline.
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