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S. Korean 'comfort women' protest deal with Japan

Dec 30, 2015, 4:50 PM EST
Source: Lindsey Turner/flickr
Source: Lindsey Turner/flickr

Japan apologized, promised one billion yen to help women forced to work in wartime brothels. Hundreds of former "conform women" are protesting the accord.

Reuters writes:

Hundreds of South Korean protesters joined two surviving former "comfort women" on Wednesday to denounce an agreement with Japan to resolve an issue stemming from Japan's wartime past that has long plagued ties between neighbors.

The two "comfort women", as those who were forced to work at Japan's wartime military brothels are euphemistically known, criticized the government for agreeing with Japan on Monday to "finally and irreversibly" settle the issue.

"The government cannot be trusted," said one of the women, Lee Yong-su, 88.

She said she and fellow survivors were never consulted by officials at they negotiated the agreement.

"We will continue to fight until the end," she said.


The BBC writes:

The agreement came after Japan's Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida met his counterpart Yun Byung-se in Seoul, following moves to speed up talks.

Later Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe phoned South Korean President Park Geun-hye to repeat an apology already offered by Mr Kishida.

"Japan and South Korea are now entering a new era," Mr Abe told reporters afterwards. "We should not drag this problem into the next generation."

Ms Park issued a separate statement, saying a deal had been urgently needed - given the advanced age of most of the victims.

"Nine died this year alone," she said. "I hope the mental pains of the elderly comfort women will be eased."