October 30, 2018 / 7:38 AM / in 8 months

Japan denounces South Korean court decision as 'unthinkable'

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono speaks to media after a meeting with South Korean ambassador to Japan Lee Su-hoon (not pictured) at the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo, Japan October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said on Tuesday that a South Korean court’s order to a Japanese firm to compensate wartime forced laborers was “unthinkable”, and the ruling overturned the legal basis for bilateral friendship since 1965.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Japan would respond firmly, while Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kotaro Nogami said Japan would consider a number of options should South Korea not respond promptly, including going to an international court.

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Writing by Elaine Lies; Editing by Robert Birsel

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