Uncomfortable truth about comfort women? Dec 30, 2015 19:33:10 GMT
Post by Admin on Dec 30, 2015 19:33:10 GMT
Japan and South Korea have reached an agreement over the long-standing issue of "comfort women," a term that describes sex slaves used by the Japanese military during World War II. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said his government will give 1 billion yen ($8.3 million) to a fund to help those who suffered.
South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said that as long as Tokyo sticks to its side of the deal, Seoul will consider the issue "irreversibly" resolved. In addition, the two governments "will refrain from criticizing and blaming each other in the international society, including the United Nations," Yun said at a joint news conference Monday.
Kishida said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe "expresses anew his most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women." Historians say tens of thousands of women from around Asia, many of them Korean, were sent to front-line military brothels to provide sex to Japanese soldiers. Only 46 known former Korean sex slaves, most in their late 80s and 90s, are still alive, and with time running out and with frustration growing, the deal is seen by many here as the best to be had from a hawkish Abe government.
But an advocacy group for former comfort women said the deal announced Monday is "a diplomatic humiliation." "Although the Japanese government announced that it 'feels (its) responsibilities,' the statement lacks the acknowledgment of the fact that the colonial government and its military had committed a systematic crime," said the Korean Council for the Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery. "The government had not just been simply involved but actively initiated the activities which were criminal and illegal."