S. Korea, Japan hold talks over wartime forced labor, trade feud

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-20 16:09:27|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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SEOUL, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Director general-level diplomats from South Korea and Japan held talks in Tokyo Friday over wartime forced labor and the bilateral trade feud, according to Seoul's foreign ministry.

Kim Jung-han, director-general for Asian and Pacific affairs at South Korea's foreign ministry, met with his Japanese counterpart Shigeki Takizaki in Tokyo, exchanging opinion about issues of mutual concern including the forced labor during the World War II.

Kim explained to Takizaki about South Korea's position on the victims who were forced by Imperial Japan into hard labor without pay during the 1910-45 Japanese colonization of the Korean Peninsula.

Japan claimed that all colonial-era issues were settled via the 1965 treaty that normalized diplomatic ties between Seoul and Tokyo after the colonization, but South Korea said it did not involve individuals' right to reparation.

The South Korean diplomat urged the Japanese government to rapidly retract what it called unwarranted, retaliatory export curbs against Seoul, pointing out the need to rapidly resolve the trade issue through dialogues between the trading authorities.

Japan tightened control in early July on its export to South Korea of three materials vital to produce memory chips and display panels, the mainstay of the South Korean export.

Tokyo removed Seoul from its whitelist of trusted trading partners which are given preferential export treatment in August. In response, South Korea dropped Japan off its whitelist of trusted export partners.

Japan's export curbs came in an apparent response to the South Korean top court's ruling last year that ordered some of Japanese companies to pay compensation to the South Korean victims of wartime forced labor.

Kim and Takizaki agreed to continue dialogue, sharing a view over the importance of communications between the diplomatic authorities of the two countries to resolve the issues.