Kono: Us Concerned About Impact Of Export Controls

Kono: US concerned about impact of export controls

The Japanese foreign minister says his US counterpart has raised concerns about the escalating row over export controls between Japan and South Korea.

Taro Kono spoke to reporters after a three-way meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha.

Kono said Pompeo told his counterparts that Japan and South Korea are both important partners for the United States, and called on the two sides to work to resolve the situation through talks.

Kono said it is important for the three nations to cooperate in the face of the current situation in Northeast Asia.

But Kono said South Korea should act first by correcting its response to a dispute over forced wartime labor. He said Seoul's actions in permitting the seizure of certain Japanese corporate assets in South Korea violate international law.

Japanese diplomacy is being tested on another front. Regarding a visit by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to Etorofu Island, one of the four Russian-held islands claimed by Japan, Kono said it runs counter to Japan's position on the territorial issue.

He said the matter should be settled by concluding a peace treaty and resolving the territorial issue. He said Japan will work to advance treaty negotiations.

The Japanese government maintains the four islands are an inherent part of Japan's territory. It says they were illegally occupied after World War Two.