Top Asian News 4:45 a.m. GMT

New plan pushes end to S. Korea-Japan forced labor disputes

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea took a step toward improving ties with historical rival Japan by announcing a plan Monday to raise local civilian funds to compensate Koreans who won damages in lawsuits against Japanese companies that enslaved them during Tokyo’s 35-year colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula. The plan reflects conservative President Yoon Suk Yeol’s determination to mend frayed ties with Japan and solidify security cooperation among Seoul, Tokyo and Washington to better cope with North Korea’s nuclear threats. President Joe Biden hailed the plan as marking a new chapter of cooperation and partnership between two of the United States’ closest allies and said he looked forward to enhancing trilateral ties.