China urges Japan to responsibly deal with comfort women issue


Seoul's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday said that the Korea-Japan deal on "comfort women", a euphemism for women forced to serve as sex slaves for the Japanese military from the 1930s to the end of World War II, was flawed and failed to resolve the issue.

The dispute is expected to carry on till next week, when the foreign ministers of both countries will meet in Vancouver, Canada, for a special global summit on the situation with North Korea.

"This is not only related to Japan's image, but also to historical justice", the spokesperson said. Under the agreement, Japan apologized and paid 1 billion yen ($8.9 million) to a Korea-run foundation to support the victims in return for Seoul's promise not to raise the issue again in worldwide forums.

"I want to confirm our cooperation on North Korean and other urgent issues the worldwide community faces", Abe told reporters before he left.

Japan, he said, "has been carrying out all the promises it made in good faith" and urged South Korea to "firmly follow through" on the pact. Follow-up measures for victims of Japan's sexual enslavement, which the Korean government called for, are likely to be discussed during the meeting.

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"We can by no means accept South Korea's unilateral request for additional measures". Japan has strongly maintained that the 2015 deal was* an official apology, and that the issue has been settled by the landmark agreement.

Japanese media reports have said Abe may not attend the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea next month because of the feud, although the government's top spokesman said on Thursday that it had not been decided.

The re-emergence of a long-simmering issue has poured cold water over improving bilateral ties, as the two United States allies seek closer cooperation to cope with regional security threats such as North Korea.

Mr Moon said a day later that Seoul will decide how to handle the money offered by Japan in consultations with the Japanese government and other relevent parties.