Senior Japanese, S.korean Diplomats Meet

Senior Japanese, S.Korean diplomats meet

Foreign ministry officials from Japan and South Korea sat down for talks in Seoul.

They exchanged views on the issue of wartime labor, but failed to narrow their differences.

Shigeki Takizaki, the Director-General of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, visited the South Korean Foreign Ministry on Wednesday to meet with his counterpart, Kim Jung-han, the Director-General for Asian and Pacific affairs.

Regarding the wartime labor issue, sources say Japan has urged South Korea to correct the current situation, which Japan sees as a violation of international law.

Last year, South Korea's supreme court ordered Japanese firms to pay compensation to South Koreans who say they were forced to work for the firms during World War Two.

The plaintiffs have begun court procedures to sell assets seized from Japanese firms.

South Korean media quoted an official as saying the gap between the two sides remains wide.

Meanwhile, South Korea has insisted that Japan should withdraw its export controls on three high-tech materials.

The officials also discussed a possible meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon next week.

Lee is scheduled to visit Tokyo to attend the enthronement ceremony of Emperor Naruhito.