July 19, 2019 / 2:25 AM / a month ago

Japan says Seoul must fix wartime labor issue that violates international law

FILE PHOTO: Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono gestures as he attends a news conference after a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Russia May 10, 2019. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Seoul must take swift steps to resolve a dispute over the issue of compensation for wartime forced labor, Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono told South Korea’s ambassador on Friday, adding that the situation violated international law.

Kono made the comment to Nam Gwan-pyo after summoning him to the foreign ministry, as the neighbors’ political and economic row over forced Korean labor during World War Two worsens.

Last year, South Korea’s Supreme Court ordered two Japanese companies to compensate wartime workers. Japan says the decision violated international law because the issue of compensation was settled under a 1965 treaty.

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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