Japan declines to reopen compensation pact on South Korean 'comfort women'


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Japan has rejected (Reuters)  South Korea’s call for more compensation for “comfort women”, the name given to the girls and women forced to work in Japan’s military brothels during World War II. The plight of the wartime sex slaves is a divisive issue in the long and bitter history between the two nations.

Japan says the question was resolved with a 2015 deal so it won’t take part in any renegotiations. South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said that Japan had failed to meet victims’ needs. A South Korean inquiry reported last month that claims for compensation had not been fully met under the pact. In the 2015 agreement Japan was forced to pay around¥1 billion (approximately $9 million) to a fund for comfort women.

Tokyo’s foreign minister Taro Kono, urged the implementation of a final and irreversible agreement. Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, Yoshihided Suga said that Tokyo will “not move a millimetre on the deal” (FT.com, may be behind a paywall).

During the World War II more than 200,000 women from Korea and other countries in Asia were forced to serve as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers. A 2011 study by The Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences suggests that former comfort women still suffer from symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), even 60 years after the end of the war.

Organisations such as Amnesty International, the European Parliament and the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination have all supported the women’s cause.

This is an emerging story which needs expansion if you wish to EDIT to add information or discuss it in TALK.

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