S. Korea Announces Plan to Resolve Wartime Labor Dispute

World Politics

Seoul, March 6 (Jiji Press)--The South Korean government announced a plan Monday for an existing foundation to pay compensation to plaintiffs on behalf of Japanese companies sued over wartime labor, an effort to resolve a dispute that had plunged relations between the two countries to their lowest point.

The payments will be financed by donations from South Korean companies, including steelmaker Posco, that received Japanese economic assistance under the 1965 bilateral agreement on property and claims.

South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin said that Seoul hopes the two countries will overcome their unfortunate history and work together to build future-oriented relations based on reconciliation, friendship and cooperation. Japan needs to uphold existing statements that expressed its remorse and apology over its wartime past, Park said.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told parliament in Tokyo that his country welcomes the South Korean compensation plan as helping to put bilateral relations back on track. Kishida said he is willing to communicate with South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol to improve bilateral ties.

Yoon is now considering visiting Japan as early as this month, sources familiar with the matter said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press