Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono says the country must take a step in case a Japanese company suffers damage from a move by South Korean plaintiffs. Kono says the government is strongly asking Seoul to respond to prevent such a situation.
Kono was speaking to reporters on Tuesday after South Korean plaintiffs seeking damages for wartime labor announced that they will soon begin court procedures to sell assets from Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
Kono also said the government has been asking South Korea to improve the situation in which the country remains in violation of international law.
Japan's government maintains that the issue of the right to claim damages was settled completely and finally under an agreement the two countries signed in 1965 to normalize their ties. It also says a series of South Korean court rulings on wartime labor since last October violate the agreement.