Uncomfortable truth about comfort women? Oct 29, 2018 18:08:24 GMT
Post by Admin on Oct 29, 2018 18:08:24 GMT
South Korea is considering abolishing the fund Tokyo paid into as part of the landmark 2015 agreement to resolve a lingering dispute over Japan’s wartime sexual slavery of women. The government said it will deliver its decision on the matter soon and what it plans to do with the roughly $9 million in it.
However, whatever plans Seoul has are likely to run afoul of the wishes of many surviving victims of Japan’s wartime sexual slavery, widely referred to as “comfort women.”
In his bilateral summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe September 25, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said the Reconciliation and Healing Foundation has “failed to function properly due to objections from the comfort women survivors and the South Korean public.”
Abe urged Moon to uphold the bilateral agreement, and according to Moon’s spokesman, the president said he will neither abandon, nor demand its renegotiation.
The Reconciliation and Healing Foundation was formed to distribute money wired from Japan to pay surviving comfort women and relatives of deceased victims, as stipulated in the 2015 bilateral agreement between Seoul and Tokyo.
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported there had been allegations of mismanagement in the fund’s administration and possible irregularities in selecting recipients. The situation was exacerbated when a majority of its board resigned, including the chairperson, effectively rendering it useless. To offset any money that was spent during the program, the South Korean government injected more money into the fund to cover money that was wired from Japan.
Now Seoul is left with the question of what to do with the nearly $9 million that’s been allocated for distribution.
Gender Equality Minister Jin Sun-mee said she will make the final decision on the fund’s fate soon and is considering multiple options, but did not disclose what they may be, other than the ministry would consult with survivors and undertake “unprecedented care” in making it.