Yoon promotes his wartime labor settlement plan ahead of his visit to Japan

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has elaborated on why he came to a decision to resolve a long-standing issue with Japan. Yoon described his wartime labor settlement plan as his campaign pledge and ultimately the government implemented it.

Yoon reiterated his efforts to improve his country's relations with Japan ahead of his visit to Japan this coming week.

Seoul announced last Monday that it will compensate its nationals who say they or their family members were forced to work for certain Japanese companies during World War Two and it will be done through a government-affiliated foundation instead of the Japanese businesses.

The South Korean government published on Sunday the remarks Yoon made the day after the announcement which took place at a Cabinet meeting.

Yoon said he implemented a promise made during the presidential campaign. He said when he took office, he instructed the Foreign Ministry to come up with a solution. He also said this is a decision that the government has arrived at after twists and turns.

The country's presidential office has uploaded a short video on YouTube. In the piece, Yoon stressed that better relations with Japan are necessary from various perspectives including security, economy and culture. The video ends with him saying he takes full responsibility for the decision.

Yoon's plan has triggered backlash from civic groups and some plaintiffs in the suit against the Japanese companies. They held protest rallies in central Seoul again on Saturday.

Yoon is apparently trying to rally the public behind his plan ahead of his talks with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio. He is due to arrive in Japan on Thursday.