January 19th Comprehensive report: South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a New Year’s press conference in Tsung Watai on the 18th, sending positive signals when talking about the forced labor recruitment that worsened South Korea-Japan relations.
In response, the Japanese government said it would pay attention to Moon Jae-in’s speech, but believed that South Korea had not taken enough measures to improve the relations between the two countries.
According to South Korean media reports, Moon Jae-in said on the 18th that the sale of Japanese enterprises’ assets into cash in a compulsory manner is not conducive to South Korea-Japan relations.
Before that, it is necessary to find diplomatic solutions first.
He further explained that diplomatic solutions required the plaintiff’s consent.
The governments of South Korea and Japan first reached an agreement, and then South Korea tried its best to persuade the plaintiff that the problem could be solved step by step in this way.
On the other hand, according to a report by Japan’s Kyodo News Agency, Japan’s Deputy Chief Executive, Takashi Sakai, said at a press conference on the same day that he would pay attention to Moon Jae-in’s speech and also observe South Korea’s future actions.
Sakai pointed out about Japan-South Korea relations: “We are important neighbors, but they are facing a very serious situation.” Sakai said that in order to improve the relationship, “in the future, South Korea will also be strongly required to take appropriate countermeasures and will consider all options to respond resolutely”.
Japanese officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that South Korea has not taken any measures to improve Japan-South Korea relations, and without concrete action, Japan-South Korea relations cannot be improved.
In October 2018, the Supreme Court of Justice of South Korea (the Supreme Court) ordered Japan’s New Nippon Railway Sumitsuke to compensate 100 million won each of the four South Korean victims who forcibly recruited labor during World War II, and found that the agreement signed by South Korea and Japan when they normalized diplomatic relations in 1965 did not hinder the right of individuals to claim compensation. This move triggered a strong reaction from the Japanese government.
The contradictions between South Korea and Japan over forced labor recruitment have continued to ferment, and tension between the two countries has intensified.