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S. Korea to continue consultation with Japan on wartime forced labor amid legal compensation process: ministry

All News 15:22 November 10, 2020

SEOUL, Nov. 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will continue close consultations with Japan over the long-simmering issue of Tokyo's wartime forced labor, the foreign ministry said Tuesday, as a legal process to compensate victims took a step forward with no diplomatic solution in sight.

A district court in the central city of Daejeon has served Mitsubishi Heavy Industries a public notice related to the victims' request to sell off local assets of the Japanese firm. The notice took effect at the start of Tuesday.

The public notification is a procedure employed when a defendant refuses to receive court documents necessary for trial proceedings or attend hearings, despite the need to move the pending case forward.

"The government respects the judicial judgment and the rights of victims, and is open to various reasonable solutions while taking South Korea-Japan relations into consideration," the ministry said in a statement.

"We have been closely consulting with the Japanese side to find out a solution while listening to various opinions from various walks of life, and we will continue related consultations down the road," it added.

The public notice was based on the 2018 Supreme Court ruling that ordered the Japanese firm to compensate victims of forced labor during Japan's 1910-45 colonization of the Korean Peninsula.

Tokyo, however, disputed the ruling, arguing that all reparation issues, stemming from its colonial rule, were settled by a 1965 treaty that normalized relations between the two countries.

Seoul's National Intelligence Service chief Park Jie-won is currently in Tokyo in apparent efforts to help improve bilateral ties strained over Japan's wartime forced labor and export curbs.


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