WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The USA is anxious that commerce and diplomatic tensions between South Korea and Japan may worsen and is urging either side to think about a “standstill settlement” to permit extra time for talks, a senior U.S. administration official mentioned on Thursday.
The feedback got here a day earlier than Japan may comply with by means of on a menace to chop preferential commerce preparations for know-how with South Korea. Relations between the 2 U.S. allies have sunk to their lowest level since they normalized ties in 1965.
The USA has not been requested to mediate the dispute, however U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is assembly with international ministers from every nation at a summit in Bangkok this week. John Bolton, the nationwide safety adviser to President Donald Trump, has additionally not too long ago been in Tokyo and Seoul.
The USA is worried that Seoul has been prepared to take steps that encourage anti-Japanese sentiment, the official instructed reporters, talking on situation of anonymity.
Japan believes that a few of Seoul’s actions “have had the impact of undermining belief between Tokyo and Seoul, belief within the basis of that relationship, and in addition seem to have been aimed and even calculated for political impact to whip up anti-Japanese sentiment in South Korea,” the official mentioned.
“That’s one thing that we’re involved about.”
The state of affairs may worsen if frozen property of Japanese corporations in Korea are liquidated to settle a court docket ruling to pay compensation to South Koreans pressured to work in Japanese factories throughout Japan’s occupation of the Korean peninsula from 1910 to 1945, the U.S. official mentioned.
Japan has mentioned the problem of compensation for its wartime actions was settled by a 1965 treaty and it desires South Korea to hunt worldwide arbitration to resolve the dispute.
Washington can also be anxious that Japan will comply with by means of on its menace to drop South Korea from its so-called white record of nations that get pleasure from minimal restrictions on commerce in high-tech supplies, the official mentioned.
“A deterioration within the buying and selling relationship between South Korea and Japan may have adverse repercussions for each of their economies and past if it results in a downward spiral, a tit-for-tat,” the official mentioned.
The combat additionally may damage cooperation required from South Korea and Japan to return to a cope with North Korea on denuclearization – considered one of Trump’s prime international coverage priorities, the official mentioned.
“I can let you know that it may have the impact of constructing it tougher to work out an settlement with North Korea on condition that Japan and South Korea would each play important roles in any eventual doable cope with North Korea on denuclearizing North Korea,” the official mentioned.
(Corrects fifth paragraph to indicate that the U.S. official spoke about what Japan believes, and so as to add full quote to indicate that he spoke extra broadly about what Japan believes have been the outcomes of Seoul’s actions.)
Reporting by Roberta Rampton; enhancing by Jonathan Oatis and Tom Brown