Assembly speaker calls for diplomatic end to Korea-Japan row

SEOUL-- South Korea's parliamentary chief called Tuesday for a diplomatic resolution to a trade spat sparked by Japan's curbs of high-tech exports as a group of lawmakers is set to visit Tokyo to help settle the dispute.

A delegation of 10 lawmakers from five ruling and opposition parties plans to visit Tokyo on Wednesday and Thursday to meet Japanese parliamentary and party leaders to discuss the escalating trade row.

Speaking to a forum with experts hosted by the delegation, National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang urged the team to try to persuade their Japanese counterparts of the need for a diplomatic settlement.

"The president and government are basically responsible for a diplomatic resolution and the National Assembly has its limitations. But we can provide support through legislation and create an atmosphere," he added.

He asked them to deliver a parliamentary resolution that demands Japan withdraw its "economic reprisal" for Seoul court rulings ordering Japanese firms to compensate victims of wartime forced labor. The statement is scheduled to be adopted on Wednesday.

He also urged the lawmakers to maintain a united position while in Japan despite their partisan differences.

Japan began to impose the export restrictions on July 4 and is expected to decide Friday whether to expand the trade curbs by dropping the neighbor from its list of preferential trade partners.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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