August 14, 2019 / 2:35 AM / 2 months ago

Japan, South Korea vice foreign ministers to meet this week: Kyodo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese and South Korean vice foreign ministers will meet this week to discuss the issue of forced World War Two laborers, Kyodo News reported on Wednesday, amid an escalating diplomatic and economic feud between the two Asian countries.

Takeo Akiba, Japan’s vice minister for foreign affairs, and Cho Se-young, South Korea’s first vice foreign minister, are likely to meet in Guam around Aug. 16-17, Kyodo said, citing unidentified sources.

A South Korean court ruling last year ordered Japanese firms to compensate some of their wartime forced laborers, while Japan says the claims have been settled by past agreements.

Since then, relations have deteriorated sharply with Japan imposing restrictions on exports to South Korea and removing Seoul from a favored trading nations list. Seoul has retaliated by deciding to drop Japan from a similar fast-track trade list.

Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Michael Perry

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