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Japanese and Korean heads of state are not expected to meet at the UN General Assembly

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Japan-ROK relations have continued to be tense, and Japanese media reported that the two heads of state are not expected to meet during the upcoming UN General Assembly.

According to Japan’s “Sankei Shimbun” reported on July 29, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Wen Zaiyi are unlikely to meet during the UN General Assembly in September. This marks the tension between the two US allies.

The report said that unless the South Korean government took constructive measures on forced labor and other issues during World War II, Abe would not hold talks with Wen Zai. For the same reason, Abe will not meet with Wen in other occasions, including the ASEAN meeting in October and the APEC meeting in November.

Japan-ROK relations are at historical lows. The Korean court recently ruled that Japanese companies need to compensate for forced labor during World War II. The Japanese government immediately imposed export restrictions on raw materials for some high-tech products and was seen as a counterattack against South Korea. Japan and South Korea established diplomatic relations in 1965. Japan believed that the treaty signed at that time had already resolved the issue of compensation, so the judgment of the Korean court violated international law.

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