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Tokyo asks Seoul for arbitration over forced labor  

Posted May. 21, 2019 07:50,   

Updated May. 21, 2019 07:50


The Japanese government requested that the Korean government hold an arbitration committee meeting regarding a rule by South Korea’s Supreme Court on compensations for forced labor. In response, the Korean government answered that it would review the request prudently.

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Monday a press release with a translated title of a “letter to request arbitration on Joseon workers as per the 1965 agreement between Korea and Japan.” It argues that the Korean government has not responded to its Jan. 9 request for discussion according to the 1965 bilateral deal. Thus, on Monday morning, it called on Korea to proceed with arbitration as it has concluded that such a level of discussion based on the 1965 agreement may not resolve relevant issues, according to the press release.

On the same day, Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Takeo Akiba summoned Korean Ambassador Nam Gwan-pyo to the Foreign Ministry building in Tokyo, calling on the Korean government to engage in an opening of an arbitration committee, according to news reports.

Some experts analyze that such a recent move by Tokyo may intend to justify its cause with public opinion around the world kept in mind even if it is less likely to result in practical benefits. They opine that the message is intended to imply that Japan abides by legal procedures while Korea belittles them.

Gi-Jae Han record@donga.com