S. Korea to faithfully carry out comfort women deal

17-Dec-2016 Intellasia | Yonhap | 6:00 AM Print This Post

South Korea reiterated its commitment to a deal with Japan to settle the long-standing dispute over Japan’s wartime sexual slavery as critics has stepped up pressure on the government to cancel it since the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye last week.

“The government has made it clear that it will stick to its diplomatic and security-related policies under the acting president,” foreign ministry spokesman Cho June-hyuck said at a regular briefing. “Our stance is to faithfully carry out agreements reached with Japan including the comfort women deal.”

Last Friday, the National Assembly voted to impeach Park over a corruption scandal and prime minister Hwang Kyo-ahn took over as acting president.

Following the vote, Rep. Choo Mi-ae, head of the major opposition Democratic Party, called for an immediate stop to the implementation of the comfort women deal saying it requires more discussion and public consensus.

In December last year, South Korea and Japan reached a landmark agreement in which Tokyo apologised for its colonial-era atrocities and agreed to provide 1 billion yen (US$9.4 million) for the creation of a foundation aimed at supporting the victims, euphemistically called comfort women.

The deal has been hailed by the international community as the comfort women issue has been a long-standing obstacle to ties between the two neighbouring countries.

Victims, liberal civic groups and opposition parties have accused the government of striking the deal hastily without getting Japan’s acknowledgment of legal responsibility. They also said the agreement was reached without prior consultation with the victims.

The foreign ministry spokesman said that what was agreed upon between the two countries on the comfort woman issue has been faithfully implemented with diverse projects being pursued by the Seoul-based foundation launched to help support the victims.

According to historians estimate, up to 200,000 women, mostly from Korea, were forced to work in front-line brothels for Japanese troops during World War II. Around 40 South Korean victims, mostly in their late 80s, are currently known to be alive.



Category: Korea

Print This Post

Comments are closed.