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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Japan and South Korea vow to improve relations

TOKYO ( Associated Press) – The foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea on Monday reaffirmed their intention to improve their ties and alliance with the United States amid the war in Ukraine and other international tensions.

South Korean Minister Park Jin and his Japanese counterpart Yoshimasa Hayashi agreed to cooperate on the issue of North Korea’s nuclear threat and to resolve the dispute over Japan’s use of Korean forced labor during the colonial era.

Relations between the two countries have been mostly strained due to historical disputes such as forced labor before and during World War II.

At the center of the controversy are South Korean court rulings from 2018 that ordered two Japanese companies – Nippon Steel and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries – to pay compensation to Koreans who were used as slave laborers.

The companies have refused to comply with the ruling and survivors have responded by calling for the sale of their corporate assets.

South Korea’s foreign ministry said in a statement that the ministers agreed that the dispute should be resolved in the short term. That said, Park said that South Korea wants to settle the dispute before the two companies there are sold.

According to the Japanese statement, Hayashi told Park that the two countries should build a constructive relationship based on the normalization of relations that began in 1965. Japan’s position has been that by that date all compensation disputes have been resolved.

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Kim reported from Seoul. He is on Twitter @hyungjin1972 and Kageyama @yurikageyama . as are

World Nation News Desk
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