Abe Tells Leaving S. Korean Amb. about Concerns over Bilateral Ties

Politics

Tokyo, April 8 (Jiji Press)--Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, during a meeting Monday with the outgoing South Korean ambassador to Japan, expressed his worries about soured relations between the two neighboring East Asian countries.

Receiving a courtesy call from the ambassador, Lee Su-Hoon, who is about to leave the post and return to South Korea, at the prime minister's office in Tokyo, Abe said, "I'm concerned about the current Japan-South Korea relations and want you to tell (South Korean) President Moon Jae-in (about his worries)."

Abe was referring to the South Korean top court's rulings in favor of Korean plaintiffs in wartime labor damages lawsuits against Japanese companies and recent developments related to surviving former "comfort women" who were forced into prostitution for Japanese troops during World War II.

Lee, who is set to be replaced with Nam Gwan-pyo, former second deputy chief of the National Security Office, told Abe that he will convey the Japanese prime minister's concerns to the Moon government.

Regarding the wartime labor lawsuits, Tokyo urges Seoul to abide by a 1965 bilateral treaty with which WWII compensation claims by Koreans to Japan were fully settled. In January, the Japanese government proposed bilateral talks in line with the accord. But the Moon administration has yet to make a reply.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press