All national dailies reported that MOFA Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Director General Takizaki and his South Korean counterpart Kim Jung-han met in Seoul yesterday and exchanged views on the bilateral dispute regarding compensation for former Korean requisitioned workers. On a South Korean court’s moves to liquidate the seized assets of Nippon Steel, the Japanese official stressed that liquidation must be avoided at all costs since it would trigger an “extremely serious situation” and that Seoul should present a solution that would be acceptable to Tokyo. In reply, the South Korean official emphasized that the Japanese government and the Japanese steelmaker must be “more sincere” in trying to resolve the dispute. The Korean diplomat also urged Tokyo to ease its ongoing export restrictions on Korea-bound semiconductor materials as soon as possible. He also expressed hope that President Moon will be able to host a trilateral summit with Japan and China in Seoul by the end of this year. The two senior diplomats reportedly agreed to continue communicating.
Sankei expressed the view that the Moon administration does not intend to make proactive moves to resolve the forced labor conflict because it is hoping that Japan will make concessions. The paper also claimed, however, that Seoul is afraid that Tokyo may choose to adopt strong countervailing measures in the event of the liquidation of the seized assets, as such measures could deal a serious blow to the South Korean economy.