President Yoon Suk Yeol reportedly called for action from Japan as he explained that Seoul’s solution on compensation for Japan's wartime forced labor was a grand decision made by the government for its people.
Japanese newspapers, including the Asahi and Mainichi, published an interview with Yoon on Thursday ahead of his visit to Japan for a summit with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
President Yoon made the remarks regarding South Korea's plan to compensate Korean victims of Japan's wartime forced labor through a fund of donations by domestic corporations, without direct payments from responsible Japanese firms.
Yoon assessed the solution to be the result of efforts to satisfy both the 1965 agreement that normalized bilateral diplomatic relations and the 2018 ruling by South Korea’s Supreme Court in favor of the victims who sued the firms.
Reflecting on Japan’s expressed intent to inherit the historical view of past governments and to build a future-oriented Korea-Japan relationship, Yoon expressed hope for corresponding action.
The president underscored that the two nations should work together to overcome conflict and hostility and open a window of historic opportunity for the future, urging Japan to make an effort to resolve the forced labor issue.
Regarding Japan's export curbs on South Korea, Yoon said that he expects a rational solution will be produced as soon as possible through the resumption of bilateral policy dialogue, which has been suspended for the past three years.