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Japan stepping up international messaging on unjust ROK forced labor court ruling

  • November 9, 2018
  • , Sankei , Lead story
  • JMH Translation

It was learned on Nov. 8 that the Japanese government is making full-fledged efforts to convey to foreign countries the message that the ROK Supreme Court’s ruling on the former forced laborers is unjust. A number of Japanese embassies have posted information on their websites, and Japanese ambassadors have started a campaign in the foreign media by contributing articles to major local papers. This is meant to gain wider understanding of this ruling which Foreign Minister Taro Kono termed “a challenge to the international order,” in order to put pressure on the ROK government, which has been slow in responding after the ruling was pronounced.


Embassies in the U.S., the UK, France, and a number of other countries have posted the English version of Kono’s statement on their websites and social media pages, explaining that the ruling violates international law.


Furthermore, because embassy websites have a limited audience, Kono has ordered foreign missions to make messaging efforts in the local media. According to a senior Foreign Ministry official, this will consist mostly of contribution of articles to local papers to assert that the ROK Supreme Court’s verdict is clearly in violation of international law.


Another senior Foreign Ministry official commented that “this is the right timing for us to make countries that are indifferent to this issue to have a correct understanding.”


Japan’s international messaging efforts after the forced labor ruling


Oct. 30

Release of Japanese, English versions of Kono’s statement asking the ROK to take appropriate measures, including correcting the situation violating international law

Nov. 2

Japanese embassies in Denmark, Romania, and other countries post English version of Kono’s statement on their Facebook pages

Nov. 4

Japanese Embassy in New Zealand posts English version of Kono’s statement on Facebook page

Nov. 5

Ambassador to Finland Masato Kitera tweets on English version of Kono’s statement

Nov. 7

Foreign Ministry posts French, Spanish, Arabic versions of Kono’s statement



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