Korea appoints new envoy to Japan to restore ties

25-Nov-2020 Intellasia | AA | 6:51 AM Print This Post

South Korea on Monday appointed a new envoy to Japan in a bid to restore ties with Tokyo.

South Korean’s President Moon Jae-in has picked Kang Chang-il, a former four-term ruling Democratic Party lawmaker, as the new ambassador to Japan, Yonhap News Agency reported.

Kang, who used to lead the South Korea-Japan Parliamentarians’ Union, is known for expertise on Tokyo-related affairs.

Moon’s choice of Kang is viewed as reflecting his determination to resolve pending issues that have strained Seoul-Tokyo ties, which include a dispute over the compensation of wartime forced labour victims.

Diplomatic relations between the two countries remained at an all-time low over the past year after a South Korean court asked Japanese firms to compensate the victims of forced labour during Japan’s colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula.

Rejecting the ruling, Japan said a 1965 agreement between the two countries had ended the issue.

According to several historians Japan used hundreds of thousands of Korean forced labourers. However Tokyo says not all were forced labourers.

Tokyo acknowledged its wartime atrocities regarding the forced labours and apologised to Asian victims in 1995, but later significantly backpedaled under former prime minister Shinzo Abe’s nationalistic government that lasted nearly eight years.

The dispute between Seoul and Tokyo spilled over into trade and military issues.

Last year, Japan restricted exports of vital industrial equipment to South Korea, hitting the country’s tech industry.

On September 24, newly-elected Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed to speed up negotiations for an early agreement to resume business trips.



Category: Korea

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