Home / China / World

Visit arranged to settle 'comfort women' row

By Agencies in Tokyo and Seoul | China Daily | Updated: 2015-12-26 08:00

Japan's foreign minister will visit Seoul on Monday to meet his South Korean counterpart for talks aimed at an early resolution to a row over comfort women, as those forced to work in Japan's wartime military brothels are euphemistically known.

South Korea's foreign ministry announced the visit on Friday after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instructed Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida to make the trip to Seoul.

The ministry said Kishida and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se would discuss topics of mutual interest, including comfort women.

The dispute has long plagued ties between the East Asian neighbors. That meeting took place partly under pressure from the United States, which is keen to see its two allies get along.

"I'm ready to rack my brains, do my utmost and sweat," Kishida said. "We have been trying to realize the agreement ... to accelerate talks and seek an early settlement. This is part of this effort."

Suga reiterated there was no change to Japan's stance that the matter of compensation was settled by a 1965 bilateral treaty.

However, the Nikkei business daily reported that Japan would propose creating a government-backed fund to help the former comfort women as part of a possible agreement.

Nikkei, citing a government source, said one proposal was for a fund of more than 100 million yen ($830,000) that would pay out 10 years' worth of aid at once.

Abe, like many conservative Japanese politicians, had in the past criticized a 1993 apology acknowledging the role of Japanese authorities in coercing the women. As prime minister, Abe has said he stands by the statement.

In 1995, Japan set up a fund that offered letters of apology signed by prime ministers and financial aid combining compensation from public donations and medical support from the government for individual women. It was wound up in 2007.

South Korea, which for a time appeared willing to put the issue to rest, has said those steps were not enough.

Reuters - Xinhua

Editor's picks
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349