Japan to Seek Bilateral Talks with S. Korea on Wartime Labor

Politics

Tokyo, Jan. 9 (Jiji Press)--Japan will shortly ask South Korea to hold bilateral talks on the issue of wartime labor, under a 1965 bilateral agreement on claims and property, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday.

Suga made the remark at a meeting of relevant ministers after a South Korean district court was revealed Tuesday to have approved the seizure of assets in South Korea of Japan's Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. <5401> over wartime labor.

The seizure was requested by South Korean plaintiffs in a damages lawsuit against the company, which refuses to pay compensation over the issue.

It will be the first time for the Japanese government to request bilateral talks under the 1965 agreement.

It is uncertain whether South Korea will agree to hold bilateral talks, however, and Japan-South Korea relations may deteriorate further.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press