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Japan tells S Korea it will skip trilateral summit over wartime labor dispute

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The perfect chance to turn the page and move on is being lost. Second huge mistake by Suga in less than a month.

You don't put preconditions on regularly held summits. Summits are there to discuss difficult issues.

1 ( +30 / -29 )

Good for Suga. Japan needs to stop accepting the childish behavior of the Moon administration. Considering South Korea's low degree of credibility as regards past Agreements and Treaties, Japan should always negotiate and enter into any future agreements with third party nations acting as guarantor. Treat them like North Korea is treated.

As for this trilateral summit, South Korea really has no business sitting with the second and third largest economic nations in the world other than to be China's puppy.

-4 ( +29 / -33 )

If this were any other country but South Korea, I would have a different opinion. But as we have seen South Korean politicians are hardly known for integrity and accountability. You sign one deal or agree to one condition, in a few years the SK government will with the snap of a finger invalidate the agreement so they can continue to fan the anti-Japan flames of hatred. Even if Suga agreed with the decision for the company to pay the four what good would it do? South Korea and their world wide fan base will continue to preach that Japan has "never" apologized or compensated any ethnic Koreans for past wrongdoings.

1 ( +28 / -27 )

Good news.

There is NO dispute here, so there is no need for any summit. The wartime labor issue was settled completely and finally in 1965. Compensation paid, finished.

It is becoming like a broken record with Korea. There is no need for PM Suga to lower himself to meet with Commie China or their tribute state Korea over this.

2 ( +29 / -27 )

Suga should go. Japanese economy is more than anything to the happiness of Japanese people. History problems will be resolve, we need more time, just be patient.

-9 ( +14 / -23 )

Japam should learn from China on how to handle SK one bad comment against China all the SK BTS merchandize out of Chinese market Japan should listen to China on how deal with SK ie a nicely seasoned oiled flexible slim rattan

-6 ( +18 / -24 )

Northeast Asians must unite, no alternatives.

-22 ( +3 / -25 )

Give Suga sometime and he will perform.

-25 ( +2 / -27 )

Good

And wondering if he would show a leadership and take the stronger action against neighbours like totalitarian countries with allied Democratic counties. As USA might make it leadership weaken by Biden becomes president.

-1 ( +17 / -18 )

Grow up, Suga! Try modelling 'agreeing to disagree' for the sake of your country.

-3 ( +19 / -22 )

The pro-Suga commentators have misunderstood the article.

It does not say Suga will not go. It said Suga will go only if his preconditions are met.

Indeed, Grow up Suga!

-3 ( +18 / -21 )

South Korean President Moon Jae In government and judiciary cannot circumvent a signed treaty!!

As the UK Government has fallen foul of.

Either in 1965 or 2019......Sign it, own it.

Or else be prepared to face the consequences.

6 ( +22 / -16 )

happyhereToday 07:19 am JST

The perfect chance to turn the page and move on is being lost. Second huge mistake by Suga in less than a month.

Third, if you count giving a job to Yakuza-linked Nippon Kaigi knuckle-dragger Hakubun Shimomura.

2 ( +19 / -17 )

If it wasn’t for how South Korea has been handling this issue, I would be against us. But considering the fact that they just won’t let it go, despite the 1965 agreement, I say good on Suga for doing this. And since it hasn’t even been a month really since he’s been Prime Minister, a good way to show his leadership skills early.

4 ( +21 / -17 )

1965 agreement is a pile of crap in which most of the money went in to pockets of politicians, but not to the people that it was supposed to go to...

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Japan and Korea settled reparations with the 1965 agreement. Official Korean documents revealed that Korea had promised to never bring up war compensations again, and that the Korean government was responsible for compensating its citizens. Instead, Park Chung-hee used the money intended for the laborers to fuel the chaebol. On top of that, Japan paid Korea several times and set up a comfort women fund which was dissolved by the Moon administration. It is long past time for Korea needs to move on instead of constantly victimizing itself.

1 ( +18 / -17 )

Fair enough Paul, however poo, Treaties serve a primary focus after extreme conflict.

The question still remains though, whether Treaties should/must be reviewed in the course of time.

The relevance to the Treaty, signed 1965, the circumstance in relation to cultural economic change, must and I believe should be subject to open evaluation and appraisal, under the agreed Treaty dispute mechanism.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Aside from the history-related dispute, the Japan side has no reason to rush to meet with SK leaders. They can wait until President Moon leaves office (and goes to jail?).

2 ( +17 / -15 )

So much for the "final and irreversible" agreement that Japan negotiated in good faith with Korea, only for Korea to decide that not being able to complain about Japan anymore didn't appeal to their national psyche.

5 ( +19 / -14 )

Prime Minster, Yoshihide Suga is a tad dour, on occasion appears to chewing a wasp.

Suga san demeaner should not cloud the South Korean President Moon Jae in, government blatant disregard for international law.

Principally President Moon is ideologically hobbled.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

If Japan honestly believes that South Korea has broken a treaty it must take the matter to the appropriate international body, not just complain profusely about it but do nothing. The fact that Japan does nothing about ir means it either has no leg to stand on or a very poor chance to win. That being said the 1965 treaty to normalize relations between two sovereign states covered all claims by the state of South Korea against Japan. That has not been broken. This is a personal claim against a private company, and as such is outside the treaty signed in 1965. That is the South Korean view and it may be correct or Japan would quickly hold them to account in the appropriate international arena for hearing treaty disputes.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

With Moon at the helm the tables are turned in favor of China. SK belongs to China under Moon and until its people change the leadership Japan is wise to stay out of it for the time being. Wise move by Suga.

3 ( +17 / -14 )

Since taking its current form, the summit has been canceled or postponed four times -- in 2013 and 2014 over differing views of wartime history and territorial disputes, in 2016 amid political turmoil in South Korea, and in 2017 due to a scheduling conflict with China.

The trilateral summit has already proven unwell and futile, so why do they still need to keep it? Diplomatic resources are finite, better be used for more productive and meaningful.

The SK should also be aware that the country has been "bypassed" due to its lame duck leader.

4 ( +16 / -12 )

Peter14Today  11:05 am JST

If Japan honestly believes that South Korea has broken a treaty it must take the matter to the appropriate international body, not just complain profusely about it but do nothing. The fact that Japan does nothing about ir means it either has no leg to stand on or a very poor chance to win.

Dead Wrong. Japan is a signatory to the Agreement which recognizes and accepts the ruling of the International court of Justice. Korea is not. When South Korea unilaterally took the Liancourt Rocks Japan, at the behest of the United States, proposed to settle the dispute at the ICJ. Since then Japan has proposed 2 further times. Each time South Korea has refused.

The same pattern is seen in South Korea's refusal to go to Arbitration as specified in the 1965 Treaty when there is a difference in interpretation. South Korea allowing it's courts to go after Japanese assets when Japan considers the issue closed under the 1965 Treaty is obviously a difference in interpretation.

South Korea takes aggressive action, then refuses to allow the issue to be heard before an international forum. It is obvious to anyone with half a brain that South Korea feels it can not win in any court or objective forum.

1 ( +18 / -17 )

@Alfie Noakes

Thanks for that. I see that Shimomura is minister of Education, Science and Culture and clearly he removed those 6 names. He also hates Korea. So Suga's 3 big mistakes merge and obviously Suga is no more than a waterboy.

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

Thanks for that. I see that Shimomura is minister of Education, Science and Culture and clearly he removed those 6 names.

The current Education Minister is Koichi Hagiuda.

He also hates Korea. So Suga's 3 big mistakes merge and obviously Suga is no more than a waterboy.

Mr Shimomora is also a member of "dovish" 日韓議員連盟 or Japan–Korea Parliamentarians' Union whose goal is to promote exchange and friendship between Japan and South Korea.

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

The only groups that benefit from this ongoing intransigence on both sides are China and the DPRK. Well played, as always.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

When South Korea unilaterally took the Liancourt Rocks Japan, at the behest of the United States, proposed to settle the dispute at the ICJ. Since then Japan has proposed 2 further times. Each time South Korea has refused.

Not relevant or required. The Philippines took China to ICJ over the Sth China sea issue and won. China did not even attend. Japan can take the case against Sth Korea to the ICJ even if they do not attend. A win there is recognized Internationally and if that happens Nations will take Japans side. Only if Japan loses does it then become a problem for Japan.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Peter14Today  12:38 pm JST

When South Korea unilaterally took the Liancourt Rocks Japan, at the behest of the United States, proposed to settle the dispute at the ICJ. Since then Japan has proposed 2 further times. Each time South Korea has refused.

Not relevant or required. The Philippines took China to ICJ over the Sth China sea issue and won. China did not even attend. Japan can take the case against Sth Korea to the ICJ even if they do not attend.

Wrong again. The ICJ can only hear cases where both parties agree to be heard. No such thing as a "default judgement" at the ICJ. Otherwise Japan could have settled the Liancourt Rocks issue back in 1952,

-5 ( +11 / -16 )

Japan should sincerely apology and compensation countries who she has invaded and rampaged during her 50 years of expansionism (1895-1945) ! Japan just want to wait those elderly people who experienced Imperial Japan's aggression dies out and pretends: Hey we are good guys and we doing everyone in good willing!

The wartime atrocities  was not just wartime labours but should also including minerals taken away from occupied lands(eg.Manchuria) and the stolen wealth from the locals! Hong Kong was such an example : During Japan's three years  and eight months of occupation, people were forced to exchange their monetary and precious metals(Gold,Silver) for "Military Bonds", monetary  by Japanese military administration ! What are these so called "Military bonds? Money Thefting! The Japanese govt. refuse compensations to the locals and denial any relations with those papers! What Japan really want is those elderly people dies out and nobody(Including Japan) remembers what has happened!

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Japan can take South Korea to the Permanent Court of Arbitration without South Korea's consent, to get a ruling on the 1965 treaty and if it has been broken or not. It is not the ICJ but it is where the Philippines took China over the Sth China sea issue. Suga should not refuse to go to a meeting on a completely different issue. especially if Japan does nothing to challenge South Korea over its opinion it has broken a treaty.

Japan makes representations over this issue but takes no action other than to refuse to cooperate on some normal issues and many wonder why. It has options in the international arena to get a ruling but does not use them. If it wont bother, why should anyone else take notice of Japans opinion that the treaty has been ignored or broken?

A miss step by Suga and the wrong way to address both the trilateral meeting and the treaty dispute.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

"Japan tells S Korea it will skip trilateral summit over wartime labor dispute." Call "wartime labor" by it is true name: "Japanese wartime slave labor."

In any case, Suga's presence will not be missed. Not at this summit or anywhere else until he learns to call the enslavement of Korean workers by its true name.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

If it is a heartfelt apology, maybe the past can truly be put in the past.

When the boys had apologized, it hadn't been because they were truly sorry for what they've done. Their apology had been a mere formality - something that they had done because the headmaster had ordered them to.

In the same way that a merchant will bow and scrape and continue to cheat you, the general run of pupils will apologize without the least idea of giving up mischief. People apologize to you and say they're sorry, but they think you're a fool and too naive if you take their apology seriously and are willing to forgive them. You won't go far wrong if you remember that when somebody apologizes to you, he doesn't really mean it, and therefore you should only pretend to forgive them. The only way to make someone really apologize is to beat him until he truly regrets what he's done.

-- from Botchan by Natsume Soseki

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Peter14 Today 02:06 pm JST

I will point out that first considering how plainly written the relevant part of the treaty is, to even concede that there might be a possibility of an interpretation is much to the detriment of Japan. It is basically rewarding an atrocious rulebreaker.

It is world-practice for states that the most common method of dealing with torts by other nations is self-help, which is basically what is happening here.

It is interesting that you think KOREA has the right to impose its opinion using its domestic court but JAPAN has to pray for an international one. How do you figure this works?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Kazuaki ShimazakiToday 05:00 pm JST

It is interesting that you think KOREA has the right to impose its opinion using its domestic court but JAPAN has to pray for an international one. How do you figure this works?

This came about by a domestic court in South Korea making a ruling on a case in its jurisdiction of a South Korean citizen suing a company that operates within South Korean borders.

Japan is the one that disputes the outcome of a South Korean court ruling basing that objection on an international treaty. Japan therefore forces itself to get an International ruling on whether or not the treaty of 1965 has been breached. Failing to do so means that any objection it makes is meaningless and will not sway judicial procedure of another sovereign state.

Your statement of Korea being an "atrocious rulebreaker" shows you are biased so your comments must be taken in that light.

Any nation attempting to put political pressure on Japan to alter one of its judicial rulings would likely receive the same outcome. Japan would not budge.

I do not say who is right or wrong, only that there is a mechanism for hearing treaty disputes between nations. It only takes one country to begin proceedings. The ruling is in the International forum and which ever side won, if there was determined by international judges to be a winner, would be recognized as being aggrieved and then should side with the winner. The body may find insufficient evidence to rule either way. It is not up to Korea to seek a ruling as it is not making a claim of a breach.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

What abt political begging by SK when let Sk Liquidate it n Japan banks close all relation with SK banks then Moon will b fermented to moonshine

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Peter14Today 05:28 pm JST

This came about by a domestic court in South Korea making a ruling on a case in its jurisdiction of a South Korean citizen suing a company that operates within South Korean borders.

And said ruling involves the interpretation of a treaty, with consequences that involve the other treaty state.

Your statement of Korea being an "atrocious rulebreaker" shows you are biased so your comments must be taken in that light.

Since you claim not to have a view on who is right or wrong, why don't you defer provisionally to my solution - I clearly think that the Korean court knowingly ignored the plain meaning of the treaty in such a way that eviscerates its purpose? And the Korean executive is hiding behind separation of powers in an attempt to evade its international responsibility?

From my position, what SHOULD I call South Korea.

Japan would not budge.

You'll notice you don't hear about such problems from Japan, because despite the claims of the less than independent Japanese judge, the Japanese judiciary is actually CAREFUL about international treaties. Unless there is a solid ground it can use, it will either call it a political question or interpret things in a way such that liability is diffused. For example, in cases when American fighter planes are too loud, it will order the Japanese government to pay compensation, but recognize that it does not have the jurisdiction to command the Americans to stop flying.

This kind of response often earns ire from the plaintiffs and their supporters, but it DOES avoid causing an international crisis.

And I would suggest you don't read too much into the Phillippines case, because that basically rested on the UNCLOS (which both signed and ratified) provisions that allow arbitration. Despite China's reservation, they found a way to read it so that the reservation did not cover the more general provision to allow arbitration. In short, as far as the PCA was concerned, China consented. China was not happy :-)

Such a thing does not exist in the 1965 treaty. It does have a provision for disputes that can't be handled diplomatically:

Agreement Between Japan and the Republic of Korea Concerning the Settlement of Problems in Regard to Property and Claims and Economic Cooperation

Article III

2 Any dispute which cannot be settled under the provision of paragraph 1 above shall be submitted for decision to an arbitral commission of three arbitrators; one to be appointed by the Government of each High Contracting Party within a period of thirty days from the date of receipt by the Government of either High Contracting Party from that of the other High Contracting Party of a note requesting arbitration of the dispute; and the third to be agreed upon by the two arbitrators so chosen or to be nominated by the Government of a third power as agreed upon by the two arbitrators within a further period of thirty days. However, the third arbitrator must not be a national of either High Contracting Party.

And it seems that Japan tried to use this provision:

https://www.ft.com/content/e7b74d68-7ad1-11e9-81d2-f785092ab560

(dated May 20, 2019)

But so far they have had no luck getting the Koreans to bulge.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I think SK should be excluded from any meeting until SK got rid of the moon govt

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Since you claim not to have a view on who is right or wrong, why don't you defer provisionally to my solution - I clearly think that the Korean court knowingly ignored the plain meaning of the treaty in such a way that eviscerates its purpose?

Because then I would be biased against South Korea and its right to make domestic rulings.

You are welcome to take an unbiased position.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Such a thing does not exist in the 1965 treaty. It does have a provision for disputes that can't be handled diplomatically:

Well then there is Japans opening. Since this "Treaty dispute" is not being handled according to the treaty stipulation by South Korea, then taking it to the International arbitration level is warranted. Presumably there is no provision to not take such action when one side refuses the treaty stipulated dispute resolution process.

Japan has no other way forward and South Korea can hardly complain since it has refused according to your source, to deal with this issue in the apparently agreed way.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

1965 agreement is a pile of crap in which most of the money went in to pockets of politicians, but not to the people that it was supposed to go to...

Right, but this is not Japan's fault.

Japan and Korea settled reparations with the 1965 agreement. Official Korean documents revealed that Korea had promised to never bring up war compensations again, and that the Korean government was responsible for compensating its citizens. Instead, Park Chung-hee used the money intended for the laborers to fuel the chaebol. On top of that, Japan paid Korea several times and set up a comfort women fund which was dissolved by the Moon administration. It is long past time for Korea needs to move on instead of constantly victimizing itself.

The fact, that you get a lot of thumps down on sinmply writing down facts proves again, that recently there were a lot of pro Korean accounts registered here.

Same happens to OssanAmercia, who just points out the facts and corrects other's wrong statements.

Fair enough Paul, however poo, Treaties serve a primary focus after extreme conflict. The question still remains though, whether Treaties should/must be reviewed in the course of time.

Interesting idea, usually a treaty is signed to be followed by both parties in good faith. Usually such treaties function to set certain standards between the two parties, not to alter and interpret it by one party changing it.

I honestly think that Suga should've attended since these meetings give the opportunity to bring up such issues. Nevertheless I also understand that SK would've just said no and Suga leaves the meeting in SK being told to learn about separation of powers. He would've given the picture of being thrown out of the country after not getting his will. After all SK did, not just locally but worldwide to hurt Japan after Moon took power, no wonder Suga stays away since nothing will change.

BTW, very good observation by you, Kazuaki Shimazaki.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

S. Korea will continue to MILK japan every chance it gets. It is time for Japan to put an end to this SCAM.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

But now Japan has understood every game of SK thats y from there is only Bull for them to milk n milk is the last thing that will come out of a Bull

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Important matter have to be dealt with. Running away is not the solution.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

SK courts are separate from political parties, like other democracies. Moon cannot order anything. Something Japan and China could learn from. Fitting that this comes after a Japan court ruled against plaintiff's pay.

Also the 1965 agreement didn't prevent further litigation

As long as the JGov holds onto the IJA past they will continue to defend the indefensible and be offended by statues and rulings against its IJA past instead of accepting it and creating a Free Japan future.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

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