Tokyo, Seoul Both Responsible for Mending Ties: U.S. Official

Politics

Washington, Aug. 2 (Jiji Press)--Japan and South Korea "each bear responsibility" for mending their relations that have soured due to trade and other issues, a U.S. Department of State official said Friday.

They will "each suffer consequences" when their bilateral ties worsen, the official said.

Tokyo decided Friday to remove South Korea from its list of trusted trading partners qualified for preferential treatment in export procedures, and Seoul, in a tit-for-tat move, announced plans to take similar action against Japan. Before the developments, Japan tightened its controls on exports of semiconductor materials to South Korea last month.

"Some soul-searching is in order about political decisions that have damaged bilateral trust in recent months," the official said, while stopping short of referring to specifics.

"By the same token, prudence is required to prevent tensions from contaminating the economic and security aspects" of Japan-South Korea ties," the official added, indicating Washington's hopes for security cooperation to remain unaffected amid threats from North Korea.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press