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S. Korea, Japan Talks on Compensating Forced Labor Victims End Without Resolution

Written: 2023-01-31 09:10:50Updated: 2023-01-31 09:34:52

S. Korea, Japan Talks on Compensating Forced Labor Victims End Without Resolution

Photo : YONHAP News

Senior foreign ministry officials of South Korea and Japan held a meeting on Monday to discuss the compensation issue for victims of Japan’s wartime forced labor, but failed to reach an agreement.

Seo Min-jung, the director general for Asia and Pacific affairs at South Korea's foreign ministry, held talks with her Japanese counterpart, Takehiro Funakoshi, in Seoul for discussions on the matter and other pending issues between the two countries. 

After the talks, which lasted for three hours, Seo told reporters that the two sides held extensive discussions on various issues, but it was hard to say that they had reached any conclusions.

When asked if Japan proposed any sincere measures on the compensation issue, Seo said that as such measures are the most important point in producing a resolution on the issue, they were included in the discussions. However, she said that differences remain between the two sides on key issues and that additional discussions are needed. 

The director general said that they agreed to continue close bilateral communication at various levels, including those among high-level officials. 

The meeting came after South Korea, earlier this month, formally floated the idea of using a public foundation based in Korea to pay the compensation for Korean victims, who had won lawsuits against two Japanese firms.  

The proposal, however, drew criticism from the victims, as it did not include an apology by the Japanese firms or require their participation in the compensation.

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