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Kono Demands Seoul Block Statue Symbolizing Korean Wartime Laborers

News2018-01-17
Kono Demands Seoul Block Statue Symbolizing Korean Wartime Laborers

Tokyo is demanding Seoul block efforts by a group of South Koreans to erect a statue symbolizing Korean victims of Japan's forced wartime labor.

Kyodo News reports that Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono made the demand Tuesday during a breakfast meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on the sidelines of a foreign ministers' meeting in Vancouver, Canada.

Kono also reaffirmed Tokyo’s stance that it will never accept additional demands from Seoul on the controversial 2015 deal on Japan’s wartime sexual slavery, including an official apology from the Japanese prime minister.

During the event, Kono told fellow ministers that Japan welcomes the inter-Korean dialogue on the North’s participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, adding that it's good the two Koreas are working together for the success of the Olympics.

However, he said countries should not be distracted by what he described as North Korea’s “smile diplomacy.”

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