Japan refused to comment Wednesday on the South Korean court's dismissal of the case regarding the so-called "comfort women" issue, saying it needed more time to study the case.
"We are aware that the Seoul Central District Court dismissed a lawsuit against the Japanese government. This result differs from the earlier ruling made on January 8. We need to closely examine the details, so the government cannot make any comment on this."
He also declined to comment on the latest ruling's impact on the Seoul-Tokyo relationship.
Regarding a separate local court ruling in January that ordered the Japanese government to compensate Korean victims, Kato claimed it violated international law and a bilateral agreement.
Tokyo has been insisting that the January ruling violated international law, citing sovereign immunity, but also claiming the compensation issue was settled under a 1965 treaty and a 2015 agreement.
At a press forum on Wednesday, Seoul's foreign minister said the Korean government has proposed various measures to resolve the issue while maintaining the principle of the 2015 bilateral agreement, but Japan, he said, had refused them.
"We have been making realistic proposals to Japan within the framework of the 2015 deal. Japan continues to make illogical claims that Korea is violating international law by supposedly not adhering to a deal between governments. We have proposed measures, but Japan has turned them down."
Seoul's foreign ministry on Wednesday urged Tokyo to demonstrate, through action, the spirit of sincere apology and self-reflection that Japan has expressed in words before.
The issue, it said, is about violations of universal human rights, and it declined to comment further on the court's ruling.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.