Japanese media companies reported on South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s March 1st Independence Day speech and said there was no proposal of measures to address the forced labor or comfort women issues.
“President Moon said he is always ready to have a talk with the Japanese government regarding the estranged relations between the two countries,” NHK said on Monday. “However, he did not directly mention the issues surrounding sexual slavery and forced labor during the Pacific War and only repeated his previous stance of resolving the current issues with diplomacy.”
“The president emphasized his intention to pursue cooperation with Japan aside from the historical issues, but there was no specific demand or new proposal for the Japanese government,” Kyodo News reported. “There seems no prospect for the resolution of the current issues.” Nikkei also said that the president did not suggest any concrete solution for the bilateral issues, such as forced labor and sexual slavery.
“President Moon made clear his desire for the diplomatic resolution of the issues by saying that forcing liquidation of the Japanese company’s assets regarding the forced labor issue would not be ideal for the bilateral ties during his New Year press conference in January,” the largest newspaper of Japan Yomiuri Shimbun said. “During the March 1 speech, however, Moon seems to have the plaintiffs of the lawsuit in consideration who strongly demand compensations by the Japanese company by saying that the South Korean government is looking for solutions from the place of putting the victims at the center.”
Japanese media outlets also focused on President Moon’s mentioning of the Tokyo Olympics. “The Moon administration puts the highest priority on improving the inter-Korean relations,” said the Yomiuri Shimbun. “As there are talks about inviting national leaders to the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics to discuss the North Korea issues, the South Korean president seemed to be asking for agreement with regards to this plan.” NHK also said that President Moon seemed to be trying to get Japan’s cooperation as he views the Tokyo Olympics as an opportunity to improve the country’s relations with the North and keeps in mind that the Biden administration of the U.S. puts emphasis on cooperation among South Korea, the U.S., and Japan.
“President Moon mentioned the past decades of economic cooperation between South Korea and Japan by saying that South Korea’s growth has been contributing to Japan’s development and vice versa,” Jiji Press reported.