Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono on Friday said Japan would “take necessary measures” against South Korea after speaking to Seoul’s representative in Tokyo, Nam Gwan-pyo.
Tono cited “severe conditions of Japan-South Korea relations caused by the South Korean side,” according to the Kyodo news service.
The two countries are at odds over a South Korean court decision ordering Japanese companies to compensate South Korean victims of forced labor during Japan’s occupation of the country from 1910 to 1945.
Japan has said that all compensation issues have already been settled under a 1965 bilateral treaty. Tokyo claims the fact that the South Korean government has not intervened in the court process represents a breach of the agreement.
South Korea has accused Japan of weaponizing trade in response to the court rulings. Japan has tightened controls on sensitive high-tech exports to South Korea, a move that could affect South Korean manufacturers, including smartphone companies.
Meanwhile, an elderly man set himself alight in a car that was parked outside the Japanese Embassy in Seoul. He was said to be in a critical condition.
The 78-year-old man’s father-in-law was believed to have been be a victim of forced labour by Japanese firms during World War II.
Police and fire officials both declined to comment on possible motivations, citing the fact that investigations were ongoing.
rc/amp (Reuters, AP)
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