Japan responds to S. Korea decision to end intelligence-sharing pact
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday urged South Korea to keep its promises including on a wartime labor dispute agreement, following Seoul's decision to terminate an intelligence-sharing pact between the two countries.
National flags of Japan and South Korea. [File Photo: IC]
"Regrettably, South Korea is continuing to hurt relations of trust," Abe told reporters, adding Seoul had also unilaterally carried out actions that run contrary to an accord inked between the two countries in 1965 aimed at settling an ongoing wartime labor dispute.
The Japanese premier told reporters that recent moves by South Korea, including the rulings by South Korean top court last year ordering Japanese firms to pay compensation to forced laborers during Japan's colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula, had damaged trust between the two countries.
Despite bilateral relations sinking to their lowest level in recent years amid wartime labor dispute, trade and now military information sharing issues, Abe said Japan had been trying to deal with the situation to maintain relations at a functional level "so as not to produce a negative impact on cooperation between Japan, the United States and South Korea in light of the current security situation in Northeast Asia."
"Japan will secure peace and stability in the region by firmly working together with the United States," Abe went on to say. He also said that Japan will continue its requests for South Korea to work to restore bilateral trust.
The intelligence-sharing pact has automatically been renewed annually between both countries since its creation, with the stipulation being if one side is to pull out they are to inform the other in writing.
This Saturday would have been the deadline for either side to give written notice of wishing to pull out of the pact.
Japan's Foreign Ministry confirmed Friday that South Korea has notified Tokyo that it will terminate the pact between both countries.