Japan's government says it will keep all options open, in response to South Korea's moves to sell off the assets of a Japanese firm due to a wartime labor lawsuit.
A South Korean court said that as of Tuesday, legal procedures to notify the Japanese side of the asset seizure order were deemed complete.
The court is now expected to move to the next stage of selling the assets of Nippon Steel.
South Korea's Supreme Court ordered the firm in 2018 to compensate Koreans who say they were forced to work for the company during World War Two.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide said on Tuesday that the Supreme Court ruling and related legal procedures are clear violations of international law.
He said the Japanese government has repeatedly told South Korea that liquidating the company's assets will lead to a serious situation and must be avoided.
He said Japan will strongly urge South Korea to settle the issue at an early date.
Suga said the government will closely coordinate with the company involved. He said it will keep all options open and continue to respond firmly, in order to protect the legitimate economic activities of Japanese firms.
The Japanese government maintains that any right to wartime claims was settled completely and finally in 1965, when Japan and South Korea normalized ties.