China urges Japan to responsibly deal with comfort women issue

China urges Japan to responsibly deal with comfort women issue

The 2015 agreement was "a promise between the two nations. We want to continue to strongly ask South Korea to do the same". The South Korean government declared on Tuesday that the 2015 agreement was not a conclusive resolution to the issue of Japan's wartime atrocity, and although Seoul decided it will not seek to renegotiate the deal, it did call on Tokyo to offer a voluntary and honest apology to the surviving victims.

Abe reportedly said during a meeting with reporters that Japan could not accept South Korea's unilateral demands for extra measures, and reiterated his call for Seoul to faithfully carry out the agreement reached in 2015.

Foreign ministers from South Korea and Japan are to hold talks in Vancouver, Canada, next week on the sidelines of an global gathering aimed at discussing more effective sanctions on 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.

The row over the comfort women deal will adversely impact Korea-Japan relations at a time when the two countries need to stand united against North Korea's nuclear and missile ambitions, said Kim Sung-han, a former vice foreign minister.

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.

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A Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Wednesday urged Japan to deal with the comfort women issue responsibly.

However, Moon said in December that the wartime sexual slavery issue can not be resolved by the 2015 deal with Japan, as a secret agreement was found between the two countries after reviewing the procedure of the deal.

The so-called "comfort women" issue involved soldiers from the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) during World War II, forcibly coercing and even kidnapping girls, some of them underage, and women, and forcing them to work as sex slaves, servicing Japanese soldiers at military brothels during the war.

He said that although it was a political agreement, it excluded the victims and ordinary South Koreans.

On Mr Moon's comments during his New Year press conference that he seeks "forward-oriented ties" with Japan despite differences over the comfort women issue, Dr Minohara said: "This is like punching someone in the face and then saying to them, "I hope it doesn't ruin our relationship". He added that he is traveling with representatives from more than 30 Japanese companies.

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