Japan-S. Korea Relations Stuck in Disarray

Politics

Seoul, July 19 (Jiji Press)-- South Korean President Moon Jae-in's administration rejected Japan's request to start an arbitration process for resolving their dispute over the issue of wartime labor, but it has been unable to propose any alternative solution, leaving bilateral relations in disarray with no clear exit in sight.

Observers say Japan-South Korea ties are now in their worst state since the two countries normalized their diplomatic relations in 1965.

Moon has not changed course since Japan's tightening of controls on semiconductor materials exports to South Korea, a measure that has been criticized by Seoul as economic retaliation for political purposes.

Tokyo had given Seoul until Thursday to accept the arbitration process under a 1965 bilateral agreement, following a series of South Korean Supreme Court rulings that ordered Japanese companies to pay compensation to South Korean plaintiffs over the labor they were forced to provide during World War II.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press