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Japan wants talks with South Korea on forced labour case

AFP  |  Tokyo 

said Wednesday it would seek talks with Seoul after a ruling against a Japanese firm that used wartime forced labour.

The case has become a growing source of tension between the two countries, and Japanese ministers were set to meet on the issue later Wednesday.

A last week authorised the seizure of assets belonging to Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal, after the firm failed to comply with an earlier order to compensate victims of forced labour.

"The move by the plaintiffs to seize the assets of a Japanese company is extremely regrettable. The regards this very seriously," said top

"We plan to request a discussion with the South Korean government" on the case, he added.

South Korea's top court in November upheld rulings requiring two Japanese firms -- and Heavy Industries - to pay compensation to survivors of wartime forced labour.

Ties between Seoul and have remained icy for years because of bitter disputes over history and territory stemming from Japan's brutal 1910-45 colonial rule of the

According to official Seoul data, around 780,000 Koreans were conscripted into forced labour by during Tokyo's 35-year occupation, not including the women forced into sexual slavery for Japanese troops.

has maintained that all historical compensation issues between the two nations were settled under the 1965 treaty that re-established diplomatic relations between the countries.

The treaty included a reparations package of about USD 800 million in grants and cheap loans.

argues the rulings are a breach of the treaty and international law.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, January 09 2019. 12:30 IST