(ATTN: UPDATES with ministry's press release)
SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea and Japan held working-level diplomatic consultations here Friday as a follow-up to last month's summit between President Yoon Suk Yeol and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Seoul's foreign ministry said.
The meeting between Seo Min-jung, director general for Asia and Pacific affairs at South Korea's foreign ministry, and her Japanese counterpart, Takehiro Funakoshi, comes amid a recent attempt to mend bilateral ties after South Korea announced a plan to compensate forced labor victims on its own without asking for Tokyo's contribution.
During their talks, Seo and Funakoshi were expected to discuss follow-up measures to the compensation plan, as well as ways to resume a long-suspended security consultative meeting involving senior officials from the defense and foreign ministries of the two countries.
"The two sides exchanged views on the direction of the development of bilateral ties and areas of mutual interest based on the results of the South Korea-Japan summit last month," the ministry said in a press release after the meeting.
Seoul and Tokyo agreed to maintain close coordination at various levels, including among high-level officials, to further deepen their relations, it added.
Funakoshi is currently in Seoul for South Korea-Japan bilateral talks, as well as a trilateral meeting with his South Korean and U.S. counterparts.
Last month, South Korea decided to pay the victims through a South Korean government-affiliated foundation using donations from local companies, not the accused Japanese firms.
Victims and supporting civic groups have rejected South Korea's compensation plan, demanding Tokyo's apology and blasting Yoon for cozying up to Japan at the expense of the national interest.
Meanwhile, the South Korean government has called for Japan's "sincere response" to the resolution and voiced hopes that the Japanese companies will make voluntary contributions.
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