Suga: No Reply From S.korea On Wartime Labor Talks

Suga: No reply from S.Korea on wartime labor talks

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says South Korea has yet to reply to a request for talks over the issue of wartime laborers from the Korean Peninsula.

The Japanese government on Wednesday asked for talks with South Korea, as stipulated in a 1965 agreement between the two countries.

It took the step after a South Korean court approved a request from a group of plaintiffs who say they were forced to work for a Japanese firm during World War Two. Early this month, the court ordered the seizure of assets held in South Korea by Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal.

Suga told reporters on Thursday he had been briefed that the Korean ambassador said he would convey Japan's request to his government in a precise manner. Suga added that no reply had been received.

Japan maintains that any right to wartime claims was settled finally and completely in the 1965 agreement, when the two countries normalized ties.

Suga said he thinks relations between Japan and South Korea are quite tense at the moment. He said Japan's position has been consistent, and the government will continue urging South Korea to respond appropriately to various issues between them.