TOKYO: Senior foreign affairs officials of Japan and South Korea have confirmed the two countries' continued cooperation in responding to the new coronavirus pandemic.
Shigeki Takizaki, director-general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, and his South Korean counterpart, Kim Jung-han, in their phone talks Wednesday, welcomed the two countries' collaborative efforts to bring back home each other nation's citizens staying in third countries.
The two officials agreed that Japan and South Korea will continue to closely share related information and promote cooperation in the fight against the virus.
Elsewhere in the talks, Takizaki took up the bilateral issue of wartime labor. He reiterated Japan's demand that South Korea correct its alleged violation of international law, referring to Seoul's failure to accept Tokyo's request to start the arbitration process for resolving their dispute.
Meanwhile, Kim refused to change the South Korean government's position to respect domestic court rulings ordering Japanese companies to pay compensation for wartime labor provided by Koreans.
The officials, however, agreed on the importance of resolving the dispute an early date and confirmed continued discussions between the two countries' diplomatic authorities.