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FM Kono: Moon responsible for resolving requisitioned workers issue

NHK reported today that Foreign Minister Kono discussed at a news conference this morning the Japanese government’s request to submit the South Korean wartime requisitioned workers issue to a third-party arbitration panel based on the 1965 bilateral agreement on wartime compensation claims.  “We have taken a restrained approach so far, but with the ROK government saying there are ‘limitations’ to what it can do, we can no longer wait,” he said. “This a grave situation for the bilateral relationship.” Kono asserted that President Moon, as the representative of the ROK government, should take responsibility and exercise leadership in dealing with this issue, and if there are limitations to the domestic policies that his government can adopt, the ROK will have to consent to submitting the matter to the arbitration panel or even to an international court of justice to arrive at a proper solution.

 

In a related development, NHK also reported that Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga told new ROK Ambassador to Japan Nam, who made a courtesy call at the Kantei this morning, that the ROK government should consent to convening the arbitration panel and take responsibility for arriving at a solution at an early date since the ROK government has an obligation to take action under the bilateral agreement.

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