The trilateral summit between Japan, South Korea, and China has been clouded by uncertainty after the South Korean Supreme Court ordered a Japanese company to pay compensation over World War II atrocities. According to ANI, Korea's apex court seized assets of Japanese company Nippon Steel to compensate people who had filed a case of alleged forced labour during the Second World War. Japan has dismissed the claims and has said that the issue was already solved when both countries decided to formalise ties in 1965.
The relations between Tokyo and Seoul have remained mostly sour because of the colonial past, but the divide became deeper in 2018 after South Korea's Supreme Court ordered Japan's top steel company to pay compensation to victims who were forced to work for Nippon Steel during the World War II.
As per the report, newly inaugurated Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has refused to take part in the summit unless South Korea handles the matter appropriately. Suga will reportedly maintain the previous government's stance in asking Seoul to rectify the situation, that according to Tokyo violates international law.
This comes after last week Japan and South Korea signed an agreement to allow citizens of their countries to make short business trips without requiring to observe the mandatory 14-day quarantine period. Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi during a press conference at that time had said that the move is to improve the bilateral relations between Seoul and Tokyo as it will help foster people to people ties, among other things.
(With inputs from ANI)