Japan Strongly Rejects Moon's Criticism over Wartime Labor

Politics

Tokyo, Jan. 11 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government's top spokesman strongly rejected on Friday South Korean President Moon Jae-in's criticism of Japan's response to the issue of wartime labor during his press conference the previous day.

Moon's remarks are "extremely regrettable" as they were apparently "intended to shift the South Korean side's responsibility to the Japanese side," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference.

Suga claimed that the South Korean side has created a situation violating a 1965 bilateral agreement on war-related claim rights, referring to a recent ruling by South Korea's Supreme Court ordering Japan's Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. <5401> to pay compensation to South Korean plaintiffs who claimed to have been forced to work in Japan during World War II. The Korean Peninsula was under Japanese colonial rule at the time.

"It's of course the South Korean side that bears the responsibility to correct the situation," he stressed.

Although Moon insisted that both governments should respect the court ruling, Suga pointed out that the whole countries, including their judicial branches, are bound by the 1965 bilateral agreement.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press