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Japan-South Korea rift

Japan and South Korea to maintain dialogue, though no solution in sight

Foreign ministers talk trade and wartime labor amid worsening tensions

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, left, appears with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha ahead of their meeting in Beijing on Wednesday. The two officials earlier in the day held a trilateral meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. (Korea Pool/Yonhap/AP)

BEIJING/TOKYO -- Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and his South Korean counterpart, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, on Wednesday had a bilateral meeting on the outskirts of Beijing, but the two countries could not make any significant progress to settle issues related to wartime labor and export controls.

The most controversial item on the meeting's agenda was related to a recent judgement by South Korea's Supreme Court, which ordered Japanese companies to pay compensation for laborers forced to work during World War II. Relations between Tokyo and Seoul have sunk to their lowest point in years, following a series of South Korean court decisions.

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