Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono has dismissed South Korea's criticism of Japan's decision to strip the country of its preferential trade status.
Kono spoke to reporters on Saturday in Thailand where he met with the foreign ministers of five Southeast Asian nations along the Mekong River to discuss environment and infrastructure issues.
Kono said that he did not refer to the row between Japan and South Korea in the meeting as the focus was on issues relating to Japan and the Mekong River nations.
He said that Japan needs to address the issue of export control as a responsible member of the international community.
He also said that South Korea will be treated in a same manner as Japan's ASEAN trading partners which have had no problem with the treatment.
Kono said that he believes the United States and other countries understand Japan's stance well.
South Korea also had a foreign ministerial meeting with the five Southeast Asian nations and denounced Japan again over its latest decision.