Seoul to announce measures on ‘defective’ sex slavery deal

January 8, 2018

SEOUL, Jan. 8 (Yonhap) — South Korea will announce its measures Tuesday to deal with what it sees as a “defective” 2015 deal with Japan to settle Tokyo’s wartime sexual slavery, an informed source here said Monday.

President Moon Jae-in criticized the deal last month as seriously flawed because the negotiations failed to reflect the opinions of the victims and the citizens.

The government is expected to call for Tokyo to take responsible steps to address the colonial-era misdeed rather than taking steps to renegotiate it or scrap it.

“(The government) has decided to have the foreign ministry announce follow-up measures before Moon holds a New Year’s press conference on Wednesday,” the source said, declining to be named.

“(Seoul) is expected to urge Tokyo to take responsible steps vis-a-vis wrong (parts of the) deal in line with the seriousness of the comfort women issue and the spirit of the principles of universality for mankind,” the source added.

Comfort woman is a euphemistic term that refers to women who were forced by Japan to serve in frontline military brothels during World War II.

South Korea and Japan announced the deal on Dec. 28, 2015, under which they agreed to “finally and irreversibly” resolve the comfort women issue, while Tokyo apologized for its colonial-era atrocities and agreed to contribute 1 billion yen (US$8.9 million) to a foundation dedicated to supporting the victims.

The deal, however, prompted strong criticism from victims and civic groups who claim that Japan’s apology was not sincere enough and that the government did not consult with them in advance. Some call for renegotiating or even scrapping the deal.

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