U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton has told Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono that Washington does not intend to mediate in a dispute between Tokyo and Seoul over wartime labor and trade policy, a Japanese government source said Wednesday.

Bolton explained Washington's hands-off approach to the row between its two Asian security allies in a meeting with Kono on Monday, the source said.

Relations between the neighboring countries, long fraught over differing views of wartime history, have become particularly tense since South Korean court decisions ordering Japanese companies to compensate people who claimed they were victims of forced labor during Japan's 1910-1945 colonial rule of the peninsula.