Citizens for Justice and Peace

South Korea, Japan at odds over “comfort women”

29, Dec 2017 | CJP Team

The Guardian reported that South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said in a statement that the country’s 2015 deal with Japan on the issue of “comfort women” was “seriously flawed” and “cannot solve” the countries’ longtime disagreement on the issue. “Comfort women” is a term used to refer to the several thousand women and girls, largely from the Korean peninsula, who were forced to work in Japanese military brothels prior to and during World War II. The Guardian reported that Moon said, “This runs afoul of the established universal principle of the international community for settling history issues, and above all, it was a political agreement that excludes the victims themselves and citizens”. According to the Guardian, Moon’s remarks followed a South Korean government task force saying that the deal did not consider the women’s feelings. This prompted Japan’s foreign minister, Taro Kono to warn that if South Korea attempted to “revise the agreement that is already being implemented,” Japan’s relations with South Korea would be “unmanageable and it would be unacceptable,” the Guardian said. Under the agreement, Japan apologised to the surviving women and allocated 1 billion yen to a welfare fund. The Guardian said the agreement was backed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and then South Korean president, the conservative Park Gyeun-hye. According to the Guardian, Moon, who leans left, became president in May, and has indicated would rethink the agreement; he has said multiple times that South Korea’s public does not support it.



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