A senior official of Japan's Foreign Ministry has criticized South Korean President Moon Jae-in for his remarks on souring bilateral ties over wartime compensation.
Moon said at a news conference on Thursday that the issue should be resolved with shared wisdom.
But the Japanese official said what Moon means by "shared wisdom" is beyond comprehension.
The official said the issue is no longer on such levels, as international law violations remain unresolved.
The bilateral tension arises from a series of South Korean court rulings ordering Japanese firms to pay compensation to Koreans for their wartime labor.
A court has recently approved seizure of assets in South Korea of a Japanese firm involved.
Moon said the Japanese government may be dissatisfied with the rulings, but it needs to be aware that there is nothing that can be done about them.
The Japanese official countered that South Korea must not break a promise made between countries just on grounds of its own domestic system.
The official said Japan is asking for formal talks under a bilateral agreement of 1965, and that is what should be pursued.
Japan maintains that any right to wartime claims was settled completely and finally in the agreement signed in 1965, when Japan and South Korea normalized ties.
Tokyo has repeatedly called on Seoul to take appropriate steps on the rulings and asset seizures on its own responsibility.
Japanese officials are carefully watching how South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon and private-sector experts will draw up measures to deal with the situation.