Diplomats of S. Korea, Japan to hold talks over forced labor issue, export curbs

SEOUL, Diplomats of South Korea and Japan will hold working-level talks in Seoul later this week on their protracted row over Tokyo’s export restrictions and wartime history, a diplomatic source said Tuesday.
Kim Jung-han, director-general for Asia and Pacific affairs, is scheduled to meet with his Japanese counterpart, Shigeki Takizaki, on Thursday, in their first talks since Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga took office last month, the source said.
Japan’s NHK reported earlier in the day that Takizaki, director general at the Japanese foreign ministry’s Asian and Oceanian affairs bureau, will arrive in Seoul on Wednesday for a three-day visit for talks over the wartime forced labor issue.
The planned talks between Kim and Takizaki came as tensions between the two countries continued over a legal move to compensate the victims of wartime forced labor by selling off Korea-based assets of a Japanese firm.
Suga has warned against any such move and called for Seoul to craft a solution to the issue, based on Tokyo’s claim that all reparation issues stemming from Japan’s 1910-45 colonization of the Korean Peninsula were settled by a 1965 treat that normalized bilateral relations.
Kim and Takizaki last met face-to-face in Seoul in February. Due to coronavirus restrictions, they held video-linked talks in June.
During his stay in Seoul, Takizaki, who doubles as Tokyo’s top nuclear envoy, also plans to meet South Korea’s top nuclear negotiator Lee Do-hoon on Thursday.
They are expected to discuss the current security conditions on the Korean Peninsula and Pyongyang’s possible saber-rattling before and after the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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