Foreign Minister Taro Kono met his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung-wha in Bangkok for about one hour Thursday, but the two were unable to make progress on such issues as lawsuits concerning South Koreans who were wartime requisitioned workers, and the Japanese government’s tightening control of exports to South Korea.
There is a wide gap between the two countries’ views on these matters.
This is the first time that Kono and Kang have spoken face-to-face, though they have talked on the telephone, since the July 18 deadline for arbitration procedures under the 1965 bilateral agreement on the settlement of problems concerning property and economic cooperation. South Korea failed to meet the deadline to accept arbitration.
The Japanese government has asked South Korea to rectify its violation of international law, even after the period for arbitration procedures has expired. According to the Japanese and South Korean governments, Kono again asked the South Korean side to come up with measures.
Kang said, “We need time to discuss this.”
On the issue of tightening export controls for materials to produce semiconductors, the Japanese government is expected to make a Cabinet decision as early as Friday to exclude South Korea from the “white list” of nations that qualify for simplified procedures for exports. Kang asked at the meeting that such a decision not be made.
“This could affect the framework for security cooperation” between Japan and South Korea, Kang told reporters after the meeting.
Kono and Kang also exchanged views on North Korea, which has repeatedly launched short-range ballistic missiles. They confirmed they would work closely within the framework of their two nations, or three including the United States.Speech