Japan is urging South Korea to take appropriate steps to prevent a symbolic statue from being set up outside the Japanese Consulate General in Busan.
The statue represents Koreans who a South Korean labor union group says were forced to work in Japan during World War Two.
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters on Thursday that he's aware of a plan by the group to erect the statue.
Members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions plan to install the statue on March 1, the centennial of the independence movement on the Korean Peninsula.
Suga said placing the statue in front of the consulate would be problematic in light of an international convention on consular relations.
He also said Japan asked through diplomatic channels for appropriate measures by a bureau chief at South Korea's Foreign Ministry and senior officials of Busan to prevent the move.