SEOUL/TOKYO-- South Korea and Japan held working-level diplomatic consultations Monday on ways to compensate Korean victims of Japan's wartime forced labor under 2018 rulings by Seoul's Supreme Court.
Seo Min-jung, director general for Asia and Pacific affairs at South Korea's Foreign Ministry, met with her Japanese counterpart, Takehiro Funakoshi, for discussions at the Japanese foreign ministry in Tokyo.
It marked their first face-to-face discussions after Seoul formally floated the idea of using a public foundation based in South Korea to pay the compensation for Korean victims who won lawsuits against two Japanese firms -- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Nippon Steel.
Victims and supporting civic groups have rejected the plan, calling for Japan's apology and direct involvement by the accused companies in the compensation process.
The issue has long been a sticking point in the relations between Seoul and Tokyo, though the two neighbors have stepped up efforts to improve security cooperation against North Korea's provocations and threats.
Seoul and Tokyo have held several rounds of working-level consultations on ways to resolve the issue. Japan has claimed all reparation issues related to the 1910-45 colonial rule were settled under a 1965 treaty. (Yonhap)