Suga: Us Has Not Called For "standstill Agreement"

Suga: US has not called for

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has denied a media report that the United States has called on Japan and South Korea to hold talks to ease a bilateral row.

Suga referred to Tuesday's report by Reuters news agency. It quoted a senior US official as saying that the US urged the two countries to consider signing a "standstill agreement" on a serious dispute to buy time for negotiations.

Japan and South Korea are at odds over a wartime labor issue. Tensions have further increased after Japan tightened export screening of some high-tech materials to South Korea.

Suga told reporters on Wednesday that he is aware of the Reuters report, but said there has been no such proposal from the United States.

He said the soured relationship between Tokyo and Seoul is continuing due to negative moves from South Korea. He said there is no change in Japan's stance that it will continue to urge South Korea to take appropriate measures based on a consistent stance.

Suga stressed that Japan has repeatedly informed the United States of its stance, and is working closely with Washington at all times. He added that the government will continue efforts so the US has the correct understanding of its stance.