Former sex slaves show mixed reactions over S. Korea, Japan deal

December 28, 2015

SEOUL (Yonhap) — Former South Korean sex slaves for Japan’s World War II soldiers showed mixed reactions Monday after Seoul and Tokyo reached a landmark deal on the issue.

Lee Yong-soo, an 88-year-old former sex slave, expressed strong dissatisfaction with the deal, saying she would ignore the results of the agreement.

The remarks came during a press conference held after top diplomats of South Korea and Japan held talks in Seoul earlier in the day, during which Tokyo agreed to take responsibility for the issue.

In the deal, Japan agreed to offer 1 billion yen (US$8.3 million) in reparations to the victims through a fund to be created by the South Korean government.

South Korea vowed to end the dispute once and for all if Japan fulfills its responsibilities.

“What we have been demanding is legal compensation from Japan,” Lee said. “We are not doing this because we do not have money.”

Meanwhile, another former sex slave Yoo Hee-nam, 88, said she would follow the government’s decision.

“Acknowledging the government’s efforts to resolve the issue within this year, (I) would follow what has been decided,” Yoo said while adding that she is not satisfied with the agreement.

Ahn Shin-kwon, the head of the House of Sharing, a shelter for the victims in Gwangju, Gyeonggi Province, also denounced the agreement as political collusion between the two countries.

The issue of former Korean sex slaves has long been a thorn in diplomatic ties between Seoul and Tokyo as Japan’s conservative politicians have not done enough to resolve the long-standing grievance regarding the Korean victims.

According to historians, more than 200,000 women, mostly Koreans, were coerced into sexual servitude at front-line Japanese brothels during World War II when the Korean Peninsula was a Japanese colony. Those sex slaves were euphemistically called “comfort women.”

One Comment

  1. New Year

    December 30, 2015 at 4:25 PM

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