PM says S. Korea hopes to move relations with Japan forward in future-oriented manner

SEOUL, Oct. 30 (Yonhap) -- Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said Tuesday that the government respects the Supreme Court's ruling on wartime forced labor and hopes to move relations with Japan forward in a future-oriented manner.

The Supreme Court ruled that a Japanese steel firm should compensate four Koreans mobilized into forced labor during the 1910-45 colonial rule, rejecting Japanese claims that all colonial-era compensation claims were settled under a 1965 treaty that the two countries signed when normalizing diplomatic relations.

The decision sparked strong protests from Japan.

"The government respects the judicial branch's judgment on forced labor victims during the Japanese colonial occupation period and will closely review issues related to today's ruling," Lee said in a statement.

Lee said he will work with related government agencies and civilian experts to come up with ways to deal with the issue after taking various matters into consideration.

"The government thinks of the pains forced labor victims suffered as sad and will make efforts to heal the wounds of the victims as much as possible at an early date," Lee said. "The government hopes to move relations between South Korea and Japan forward in a future-oriented manner."

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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