Japan’s Foreign Ministry summoned the South Korean ambassador to seek talks in an escalating standoff over forced labour claims that it has said risks undermining the legal basis for relations between the neighbours.
The ministry summoned Ambassador Lee Su-hoon after a South Korean court this week approved the confiscation of assets in South Korea in a
case involving Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp.
The South Korean district court ordered the seizure of shares valued at about $356,000 of shares Nippon Steel has in a joint venture
with South Korean steelmaker POSCO, the Yonhap News Agency of South Korea reported.
Nippon Steel said its joint venture has received a notice of the asset seizure. POSCO officials were not immediately available for comment.
“Japan has been watching to see how the South Korean government dealt with this,” the Foreign Ministry said.
“Up to this point, there has been no concrete action.”
Ties between the two US
allies, who are also each other’s third-largest trading partners, have become increasingly fraught over a series of
issues relating to Japan’s 1910-45 colonisation of the Korean Peninsula.
The South Korean Foreign Ministry said it would review Japan’s request for talks.