Chinese language Overseas Minister Wang Yi (C), South Korean Overseas Minister Kang Kyung-wha (L) and Japanese Overseas Minister Taro Kono (R) attend a press convention after the ninth trilateral international ministers’ assembly amongst China, South Korea and Japan at Gubei City in Beijing, China, 21 August 2019. Wu Hong/Pool by way of REUTERS
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Overseas Minister Taro Kono on Wednesday mentioned he wished to see progress towards resolving a feud with South Korea over compensating Korean wartime employees that has put a deep chill on ties between Washington’s two Asian allies.
Kono, talking exterior Beijing after talks with South Korean Overseas Minister Kang Kyung-wha, additionally mentioned Japan wished Seoul and Tokyo to take care of a army intelligence-sharing pact that would expire if South Korea decides to not roll it over this month.
“This is a vital framework for the US, Japan and South Korea and … needs to be maintained,” Kono mentioned, including that he had mentioned the intelligence pact with Kang, however declining to provide particulars.
Kono informed reporters the largest downside between Japan and South Korea was the dispute over compensation for Koreans who labored in Japanese factories and mines throughout Japan’s 1910-1945 colonization of the Korean peninsula. The 2 sides shared a recognition of the necessity to settle the dispute, he added.
“In that sense, I wish to firmly make progress in the direction of resolving (this matter),” Kono mentioned, including he was hopeful on condition that the 2 sides had been capable of speak.
Relations soured final October after the South Korean Supreme Courtroom ordered some Japanese corporations to compensate Korean wartime employees, a transfer strongly condemned by Tokyo, which says the matter was resolved by a 1965 treaty normalizing ties.
The feud has spilled over into commerce, after Japan tightened export controls on supplies important to South Korean chipmakers after which dropped Seoul from a listing of nations eligible for fast-track exports, prompting South Korea to take an identical step in the direction of Japan.
Kono additionally urged each China and South Korea to scrap import curbs on produce from areas round Japan’s Fukushima nuclear catastrophe website, the place three reactors melted down after an earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
Seoul mentioned on Wednesday it will double radiation testing of some Japanese meals imported into South Korea, for concern of potential contamination from the Fukushima plant.
Reporting by Linda Sieg and Ami Miyazaki; Modifying by Clarence Fernandez