07:55 GMT15 June 2021
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    Relations between Seoul and Tokyo have been under strain after a South Korean court ruled in June that Japanese companies must provide compensation to victims of forced labour during the Japanese occupation from 1910-1945.

    The Japanese Foreign Ministry has summoned South Korean Ambassador to Japan Nam Gwan-pyo to deliver its protest over Seoul’s decision to terminate an agreement on sharing military intelligence, Japanese media reported on Thursday citing Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono.

    Earlier, following a lengthy debate within the presidential National Security Council, the South Korean presidential office said that Seoul intends to rescind an intelligence-sharing pact with Japan.

    The pact known as the General Security of Military Information Agreement or GSOMIA was due to be automatically renewed on Saturday.

    "We have determined that it would not serve our national interest to maintain an agreement we signed with the aim of exchanging military information which is sensitive to security", Kim You-geun, a deputy director of the National Security Council, told a news conference.

    Seoul will formally notify Japan of its decision before the agreement expires on Saturday, Kim added.

    Reacting to the development, the Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kano said that Tokyo vehemently objected to South Korea's decision to scrap the defence pact.

    "I have to say the decision to end the pact by the South Korean government is a complete misjudgement of the current regional security environment and it is extremely regrettable", Taro Kono said in a statement.

    Relations between Tokyo and Seoul soured after the latter's top court decreed that a number of Japanese companies could be sued for their use of forced labour during World War II. Japan has objected, arguing that the two countries had previously resolved the issue of damages.

    On August 2, Tokyo made the decision to stop treating Seoul as a trusted trade partner, adding stricter customs procedures for a total of 1,194 items exported to South Korea.


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