Japan, S.korea Discuss Wartime Labor And Gsomia

Japan, S.Korea discuss wartime labor and GSOMIA

Senior Japanese and South Korean foreign ministry officials have met in Tokyo to discuss the issue of wartime labor and an intelligence-sharing pact, set to expire next week. After the meeting, a Japanese official told reporters the meeting was constructive, but ended without a major breakthrough.

Shigeki Takizaki, the Director-General of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, and his counterpart, Kim Jung-han, the Director-General for Asian and Pacific affairs, met on Friday morning for the first time since last month.

The two and a half hour meeting was held behind closed doors, but the Japanese side is believed to have urged South Korea to correct the current situation on compensation for wartime labor, which Tokyo regards as a violation of international law.

It is also believed the two officials exchanged views on the General Security of Military Information Agreement, or GSOMIA, which is due to expire on November 23 after South Korea decided not to extend the pact.

The Japanese government says that Seoul's decision is ill-judged, citing the current regional security environment as a reason. South Korea maintains that it is ready to reconsider if Japan withdraws its tightened controls on exports of sensitive high-tech materials.

Following the meeting, Kim Jung-han said that the talks touched on a wide range of issues, but declined to comment when asked if they managed to draw any conclusion on GSOMIA.