[WSJ] Japanese businesses pushed to end South Korea dispute

December 29, 2015
A statue of a young girl, symbolizing the victims of Japan's sexual enslavement, is seen in this photo taken on Dec. 28, 2015. The statue, set up in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul, has become an issue in the agreement announced on the day by South Korea and Japan to end their confrontation over "comfort women." Japan is pressing for it to be relocated elsewhere, and South Korea said it will take into account Japan's concerns and try to solve the situation in an appropriate manner. (Yonhap)

A statue of a young girl, symbolizing the victims of Japan’s sexual enslavement, is seen in this photo taken on Dec. 28, 2015. The statue, set up in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul, has become an issue in the agreement announced on the day by South Korea and Japan to end their confrontation over “comfort women.” Japan is pressing for it to be relocated elsewhere, and South Korea said it will take into account Japan’s concerns and try to solve the situation in an appropriate manner. (Yonhap)

[THE WALL STREET JOURNAL] —  Japanese business leaders pushed hard for their country to resolve a dispute with South Korea over the use of Korean women by Japanese soldiers in military brothels during World War II, and this week’s landmark deal may lead to a boost in trade and investment between the neighbors.

Even when political ties were chilly, the head of Japan’s Keidanren business federation,Sadayuki Sakakibara, met South Korean President Park Geun-hye in Seoul in December 2014 and May 2015, trying to keep the door open.

In late October, Keidanren and its Korean counterpart, the Federation of Korean Industries, met in Tokyo and called for a “stable foundation on the political and diplomatic fronts.”

It isn’t known how much business appeals weighed in Monday’s landmark settlement, which each side called “final” and “irreversible” and includes a payment of ¥1 billion in Japanese government funds to a Korean foundation that will aid the women. But the poor relations between the two countries resulted in a drop in trade and other business, motivating business leaders to push for change. [READ MORE]

 

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