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FM Kono speaks with South Korean FM Kang about court ruling on forced labor

NHK reported this morning that following the ruling by the South Korean Supreme Court on Tuesday ordering a Japanese firm to pay compensation to four South Koreans who were victims of forced labor in wartime, Foreign Minister Kono spoke with his South Korean counterpart Kang over the phone this morning and called on the South Korean side to respond firmly to the ruling. Kono told reporters afterwards: “Following yesterday’s decision by the South Korean Supreme Court, I said the Japanese government takes the decision very seriously as it fundamentally undermines the legal foundation of the bilateral relationship that has developed since the normalization of diplomatic ties in 1965 based on the Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea and the Agreement on the Settlement of Problems concerning Property and Claims. I also called on the South Korean government to respond firmly.” According to the network, Kono also said that he would like to wait until South Korea decides how to address the matter.

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