Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga says there will be "very serious consequences" should a Japanese company's assets seized in South Korea be liquidated to compensate South Korean victims of wartime forced labor.
Therefore, he said, it must be avoided.
Tokyo has even warned of retaliation should Seoul sell off local assets of Nippon Steelfollowing the 2018 South Korean Supreme Court ruling.
"I think he has reiterated Japan's previous stance on the issue. It doesn't seem like he has sent more of a hard-lined message."
At a press conference Wednesday during a visit to Jakarta, Suga said he has already commented on the issue several times.
When asked whether or not he will visit Seoul for a trilateral summit later this year, Suga offered no further commentand said that nothing has been confirmed.
The Japanese media had previously reported that Suga will not travel to South Korea if no further progress has been made in solving the dispute.
In the meantime, South Korean Ambassador to Japan Nam Gwan-pyo said there are signs of a more positive stance from the Japanese government regarding the issue.
Nam attended a virtual parliamentary inspection on Wednesday, and said he feels a shift in atmosphereand that Suga is a bit different from his predecessor Shinzo Abe.
The embassy sees Suga as having a more practical approach and so an openness for dialogue and cooperation is expected.
It added, however, that a change of stance from Suga on certain historical issues would be difficult to expect.
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.