Japan is making a final call for South Korea to agree to Japanese-requested arbitration over the Korean wartime labor dispute, while hinting at possible retaliation.
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasutoshi Nishimura on Wednesday urged Seoul to nullify court orders for Japanese companies to compensate former Korean wartime labors and settle by arbitration.Colonial-era Korean laborers are seeking a court approval for the sales of local assets held by their wartime employer Mitsubishi Heavy Industry, which has ignored a court's compensation order.
Tokyo has requested arbitration of the dispute as stipulated in a 1965 treaty. The deadline for a response is Thursday.
Nishimura said Japan will consider all options to protect Japanese companies.
Ties between the countries worsened after Japan tightened controls on high-tech exports to South Korea.