Seoul has expressed regret over comments made by a Japanese vice foreign minister against President Moon Jae-in’s remarks in his New Year press conference. 

An official at Seoul’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday that the response from Japan’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs Masahisa Sato is "very regrettable”.

Sato took to Twitter on Thursday to criticize Moon’s remarks that the Japanese government should respect South Korean judicial decisions even when it is not satisfied with them.

Moon was referring to a Supreme Court ruling late last year that directs Japanese firms to compensate victims of forced labor during Japan’s colonial rule.

The Japanese politician accused the South Korean president of repeating remarks that do not see facts as they are.

As a lawmaker in 2011, Sato attempted to visit South Korea’s Ulleung Island to lodge protest over South Korea’s easternmost islets Dokdo, but his entry was denied.

[Photo : YONHAP News]