South Korea’s foreign ministry will hold hearings at the National Assembly in Seoul on Thursday on how to resolve the thorny issue of how to compensate victims of forced labor in Japan.
SEOUL/TOKYO — South Korea and Japan held working-level diplomatic talks on Monday on how to compensate South Korean victims of Japan’s forced wartime labor, based on a 2018 ruling by the Seoul Supreme Court.
South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director-General for Asia-Pacific Affairs Seo Min-jung met with his Japanese counterpart Takehiro Funakoshi to discuss at Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo.
The South Korean government has formally proposed the idea of using South Korea-based public foundations to pay compensation to South Korean victims who won lawsuits against two companies, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Nippon Steel. After that, it was their first face-to-face meeting.
Victims and supporting civil society groups rejected the plan, demanding an apology from Japan and direct involvement of affected companies in the compensation process.
The issue has long been a problem in Seoul-Tokyo relations, but the two countries are stepping up efforts to improve security cooperation against North Korean provocations and threats.
Seoul and Tokyo have held several working-level consultations on how to resolve this issue. Japan has claimed that all reparations issues related to her 45-year colonial rule from 1910 were settled under the 1965 treaty. (union)