Japanese government's position over wartime labor issue

The Japanese government has maintained that any right to claims over wartime labor issues was settled completely and finally in 1965, when Japan and South Korea normalized ties.

Japan opposes the South Korean Supreme court ruling in 2018 that ordered Japanese companies to compensate South Koreans who claim they were forced to work for the firms in Japan during World War Two.

The Japanese government says what South Korea has done since the Supreme Court ruling violates international law.

It says that if assets seized from the Japanese firms are sold to compensate the South Korean plaintiffs, the foundation of international law would be upended and relations between Japan and South Korea would be irreparably damaged.

Japan has strongly urged the South Korean side to take a measure that can avoid the liquidation of the Japanese companies' assets, which is acceptable to Japan.

On the other hand, Japan acknowledges that cooperation with Seoul is now more important than ever, as North Korea proceeds with its nuclear and missile programs by firing missiles at an unprecedented pace.

The Japanese government attaches importance to South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol's stance, expressing his intention to work to avoid the liquidation of the Japanese firms' assets. Yoon assumed the country's top post last May.

Japan plans to carefully study whether the measures Yoon's administration will come up with are acceptable, and will continue communications between officials of each country in order to restore a healthy bilateral relationship.