Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono has urged South Korean President Moon Jae-in to exercise leadership in solving the bilateral issue of wartime labor.
Kono was speaking to reporters in Tokyo on Tuesday, a day after the Japanese government asked South Korea to agree to establishing an arbitration panel in line with a 1965 bilateral agreement. The request came as South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said his government cannot resolve the issue alone.
Kono said Japan has dealt with the issue while reserving its complaints, but it can wait no longer now that Seoul says what it can do is limited. He described the present situation in bilateral relations as crucial.
Kono called on President Moon to deal with the matter with responsibility.
He added that if Seoul says what it can do at home is limited, it should naturally agree to set up an arbitration panel. He also hinted at bringing the matter to an international court if necessary.