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(Update) Kono, Kang Remain Apart over Trade, Wartime Labor

(Update) Kono, Kang Remain Apart over Trade, Wartime Labor

   Beijing, Aug. 21 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha remained apart Wednesday over trade and wartime labor issues at their first bilateral meeting since their countries' tensions escalated into a tit-for-tat trade conflict.
   At the meeting, Kono demanded that South Korea resolve the current situation in which a bilateral agreement has been breached in the wake of South Korean court rulings ordering Japanese companies to pay compensation to South Korean plaintiffs in wartime labor lawsuits.
   "We share a recognition that the wartime labor issue must be resolved," Kono told reporters after the meeting. "We've agreed to maintain communication between our diplomatic authorities to resolve the issue."
   The two officials met after a trilateral gathering that also included their Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, in a Beijing suburb on the day.
   The Kono-Kang meeting was the first since the Japanese government decided on Aug. 2 to remove South Korea from its list of trusted trade partners qualified for simplified procedures. On Aug. 12, the South Korean government announced a similar measure against Japan.

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AFP-JIJI PRESS NEWS JOURNAL


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