No Progress In Japan - S.korea Wartime Labor Issue

No progress in Japan-S.Korea wartime labor issue

Japan's foreign minister is again calling on South Korea to convene an arbitration panel aimed at resolving issues relating to wartime labor. But South Korea's foreign minister only repeated her country's position.

Taro Kono and Kang Kyung-wha exchanged words after a dinner for Group of 20 foreign ministers in Osaka on Friday.

South Korea's Supreme Court has ordered Japanese companies to pay damages to those who claim they were forced to work during World War Two, as well as to surviving family members.

Japan has asked South Korea to set up an arbitration panel that includes a third country based on a bilateral agreement.

But the South Korean government has proposed that firms from the two countries voluntarily create funds to compensate the plaintiffs. Japan has rejected the proposal.

Kono told Kang that South Korea has the responsibility to convene an arbitration panel under international law. He asked that the necessary steps be taken.

Kang reportedly repeated her country's position.

On the issue of North Korea, Kono and Kang confirmed that they will closely cooperate with the United States.

No meeting is expected between the leaders or foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea on the sidelines of the G20 summit now underway in Osaka.