Japan yesterday said it wants to bring a bitter dispute with South Korea over compensation for wartime laborers to a panel for arbitration.
Relations between the two US allies have been increasingly strained after South Korea’s top court last year ordered a Japanese steelmaker to pay compensation to victims of a wartime policy of forced labor.
The ruling drew the ire of Tokyo, with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe describing the decision as “impossible.”
Japan yesterday said it now wants the issue referred to an arbitration panel, under the terms of an agreement signed by the two countries in 1965.
“The Japanese government has communicated to the South Korean side that we will refer the matter to arbitration,” the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
“The South Korean government has an obligation under the Agreement on the Settlement of Problems, and the Japanese government strongly demands South Korea accept arbitration,” it said.
Under the terms of the treaty, each country names one representative to the panel, and those two members jointly select an additional member from a third country.
The treaty was signed alongside a main agreement that normalized relations between the two countries in 1965.
The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it would review the request.
“The government will prudently look into it, factoring in all related elements concerning the move by the Japanese side,” it said.
KEEN INTEREST: India is trying to procure medical gear from domestic producers and abroad, and China has emerged as a possible supplier as its factories reopen India is to buy ventilators and masks from China to help it deal with COVID-19, a government official said yesterday, even though some countries in Europe had complained about the quality of the equipment. India has recorded 1,251 cases of the coronavirus, with 32 deaths, but health experts said the country of 1.3 billion people could see a major surge in cases that could overwhelm its weak public health system. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government said that it was trying to procure medical gear, including masks and body coveralls, both from domestic firms and from countries such as South Korea and
A coronavirus-free tropical island nestled in the northern Pacific might seem the perfect place to ride out a pandemic, but residents on Palau said that life right now is far from idyllic. The microstate of 18,000 people is among a dwindling number of places on Earth that still report zero cases of COVID-19 as figures mount daily elsewhere. The disparate group also includes Samoa, Turkmenistan, North Korea and bases on the frozen continent of Antarctica. A dot in the ocean hundreds of kilometers from its nearest neighbors, Palau is surrounded by the vast Pacific Ocean, which has acted as a buffer against the
Dutch scientists have found the coronavirus in a city’s wastewater before COVID-19 cases were reported, demonstrating a novel early warning system for the disease. SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — is often excreted in an infected person’s stool. Although it is unlikely that sewage will become an important route of transmission, the pathogen’s increasing circulation in communities would increase the amount of it flowing into sewer systems, Gertjan Medema and colleagues at the KWR Water Research Institute in Nieuwegein said on Monday. They detected genetic material from the coronavirus at a wastewater treatment plant in Amersfoort on March 5, before
TRUE TOLL? Some Chinese are skeptical about official data, particularly given the overwhelmed medical system and initial attempts to cover up the outbreak The long lines and stacks of urns greeting family members of the dead at funeral homes in Wuhan, China, are spurring questions about the true scale of casualties at the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, renewing pressure on a Chinese government struggling to control its containment narrative. The families of those who succumbed to the coronavirus in the city, where the disease first emerged, were allowed to pick up their cremated ashes at eight funeral homes last week. As they did, photographs circulated on Chinese social media of thousands of urns being ferried in. Outside one funeral home, trucks shipped in about 2,500