Japanese foreign minister Yoshimasa Hayashi says he believes South Korea’s plan to compensate the victims of Japan's wartime forced labor will soundly restore Seoul-Tokyo ties.
The minister made the remarks in a news conference on Monday as he said South Korea and Japan are important neighbors that must work together in responding to various global challenges.
He then reaffirmed that the Japanese government is inheriting the historical position held by past Cabinets, including the 1998 joint declaration by the leaders of the two countries at the time, South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi.
In the declaration, Obuchi expressed remorse for the “tremendous damage and suffering” inflicted on the Korean people by Japan’s colonial rule.
Hayashi did not, however, address calls on Japan by forced labor victims to directly offer an apology and provide compensation.